The verdict: LinkedIn says that that men are overall more savvy networkers than women, but men and women behave differently in online professional networking. To evaluate LinkedIn “networking savviness” index, the Analytics Team diced data of current industry, current company, and professional connections for members in the US. While users don’t have to designate whether they are a male or female on their LinkedIn profile, the networked had to guess a person’s gender using their first name and matching this against a database of baby names.
LinkedIn measures networking “savviness” based on the the ratio of one-way connections that men have to connections that women have, and the ratio of male members on LinkedIn to female members. For example, LinkedIn will label an
industry as “female savvy” when 45% of the industry is female and where women
have 70% of the connections.
Companies where males are more savvy networks include Walmart, Kaiser Permanente and Mary kay (big surprise considering its a women;s cosmetics company). On the other hand, Best Buy is female savvy company, as are Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Comcast falls in the middle.
In terms of industry, the top professional areas for for male savviness are Law Enforcement, Capital Markets, and Cosmetics. For women, the female sex reigned in savviness in Alternative Dispute Resolution, International Trade, Alternative Medicine, Tobacco and Ranching. Neutral industries include Market Research, Media Production, Dairy, Individual and Family Services and Paper & Forest Products.
LinkedIn’s measurements and data are by no means a perfect science, but it is interesting to see how the network evaluates networking and where each gender falls in specific industry. And I’m still not convinced that men are better networkers on LinkedIn. But I’m biased.