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When it comes to careers, it's widely known that women tend not to advocate for themselves to the extent that men do. For example, when negotiating a salary for a new position, women generally ask for less and get less than men for the same position, even when their qualifications are similar.
But the discrepancy starts even before the interview room, according to a new report published by LinkedIn.
Last month, the networking site took a deep dive into more than 141 profiles from its U.S. members and found some alarming differences between the way men and women present themselves on the platform:
- Men tend to have more detailed profiles, but are also more selective about the information they include, emphasizing their experience at the senior level and sometimes altogether eliminating their previous, more junior positions.
- Women's profiles tend to be less robust, especially in the summary section, where users have a unique chance to tout their professional worth by synthesizing their experiences into a compelling statement about personal brand, right at the top of the profile.
- Even when controlling for occupation and experience level, women, on average, list 11% fewer skills than their male counterparts.
- Men also have larger networks, which suggests greater confidence in reaching out to new contacts.
This is a problem. As LinkedIn notes, members who list five or more skills garner up to 17 times more profile views, on average. Adding your location and a more extensive summary can help more people find your profile, which can lead to a greater number of professional opportunities.
Yes, women have been socially conditioned to be more modest than men and there are a whole host of reasons, some fairly legitimate, why we're afraid to act like the boss ladies we are. But it's 2017 and it's time to move past this.
So ladies, let's brag a little more, even if it feels uncomfortable. It won't close the gender pay gap, but it's a start.