To declare a winner in this battle of the sexes argument, LinkedIn developed an online professional networking “savviness” ranking. Globally and in the UK, men are savvier online professional networkers than women.
LinkedIn defines online professional networking savviness as a ratio of two things: the ratio of connections that men have to connections that women have and the ratio of male members on LinkedIn to female members.
“Having the right connections can make a difference when it comes to sealing a deal or landing a new client,” said Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s Connection Director
Williams added: “Women can sometimes shy away from networking because they associate it with schmoozing or doling out business cards, when in reality, it’s about building relationships before you actually need them. Networking in person can be intimidating, so women should look at a site like LinkedIn as a place they can go to cultivate their networking skills.”
That’s not to say women aren’t already teaching men a professional networking lesson or two. “I was actually the one who introduced my husband to LinkedIn,” said Sharr Stark, an independent consultant and LinkedIn member,
“We sat down and I showed him how to request recommendations on LinkedIn so he could in turn leverage them as testimonials on his website. The recommendations on his profile are great because they help him market his services to other potential customers.”
LinkedIn’s data got even more interesting when it was sliced by industry. What you would think would be a female savvy industry (the cosmetics industry for example) is actually a male savvy industry.
This means despite the fact that there are more female professionals in the cosmetics industry, men in the cosmetics industry tend to be savvier online professional networkers than women in that industry.
In the agriculture industry, it is the female professionals that are savvier networkers than men, even taking into account the fact that the male to female ratio is higher in those industries.
LinkedIn’s data analytics team claims that this could be because the ‘minority sex’ has to network harder than the dominant sex to break into those industries.