Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“Unacceptable and misogynistic behaviour”: Female barrister hits out at sexist comment about her LinkedIn picture

charlotte proudman barrister.jpg

An award-winning female barrister has taken to Twitter in protest, after her LinkedIn picture became the subject of sexist comments from a male lawyer.

Charlotte Proudman, an award-winning barrister at Chambers of Michael Mansfield Q.C., was shocked by a message she received after connecting with Alexander Carter-Silk, a respected Commercial Solicitor and senior partner Brown Rudnick LLP, on professional networking site LinkedIn.

Carter-Silk, who has been practising law for over 25 years, sent Proudman, an inbox message titled ‘RE: PICTURE’.

The message read: “Charlotte, delighted to connect, I appreciate that this is probably horrendously politically incorrect but that is a stunning picture !!!”

“You definitely win the prize for the best LinkedIn picture I have ever seen.”

“Always interest to understant (sic) people’s skills and how we might work together.”

Charlotte Proudman LinkedIn
Alexander Carter Silk LinkedIn

Proudman, who is currently working towards a doctorate in Law and Sociology at Cambridge University, researching legal policy to combat female genital mutilation (FGM), replied several hours later informing Carter-Silk that she was offended by his message.

“Alex, I find your message offensive. I am on Linked-in for business purposes, not to be approached about my physical appearance or to be objectified by sexist men.”

“The eroticisation of women’s physical appearance is a way of exercising power over women. It silences women’s professional attributes as their physical appearance becomes the subject.”

“Unacceptable and misogynistic behaviour. Think twice before sending another woman (half your age) such a sexist message.”

Proudman then an shared image of both messages on her Twitter account, publicly calling out Carter-Silk’s behaviour in a tweet that read: “How many women @LinkedIn are contacted re physical appearance rather than prof skills?”

Carter-Silk has released his own official response, explaining that his comments have been ‘misinterpreted’ and he was simply admiring the professional quality of Proudman’s picture.

“Most people post pretty unprofessional pictures on LinkedIn, my comment was aimed at the professional quality of the presentation on LinkedIn which was unfortunately misinterpreted,” he says.

“Ms Proudman is clearly highly respected and I was pleased to receive her request to linkup and very happy to instruct her on matters which [are] relevant to her expertise, that remains the position.”

Despite receiving some criticism following her tweet, the barrister's post has encouraged many other women to share their own similar stories.

In an interview with the Evening Standard, Proudman says that she has no regrets about taking a stand, even it does have negative consequences on her legal career. She describes Carter-Silk's behaviour as 'disappointing'.

“It's very disappointing, there are serious professional misconduct issues, as a legal professional he is required to uphold the law, and that includes the Sex Discrimination Act and the Equality Act.”

“I'm on there for business purposes and I thought he may be interested in my skills and experience as opposed to my body. People are treating LinkedIn like Tinder, I've received many messages based on my physical appearance, but this one was from a senior partner.”

“The only way we're going to end sexism within our generation is if we name them publicly, if we call out sexism, and if there are consequences, so be it.

“I wouldn't want to be instructed by sexist solicitors.”

 

Related

Capture.JPG

Fawcett Society urges government to tackle “pathetic” gender pay gap

woman sleeping at office work desk.jpg

Science agrees that 9am starts are torture

rexfeatures_1252896h.jpg

Revealed: 20 of the most commonly misused phrases and words

suffragette-trailer.jpg

Watch the powerful new UK trailer for Suffragette

couple texting love social media.jpg

Is Facebook killing your relationship?

sienna-miller.jpg

Sienna Miller on “the curse of motherhood”

10420311_442135085960346_5936089798371020228_n.png

This woman helps domestic abuse victims by offering free tattoos

5988-062080-rt.jpg

This new classical album could cure your insomnia

barbie and ken dolls.jpg

Playing with Barbies encourages girls to be passive

Comments

More

Bright, beautiful and bold Easter cake inspiration

Stylish bake ideas to nick and claim as your own

by Amy Swales
24 Mar 2017

An Avengers-style Disney princesses film could be in the works

24 Mar 2017

All the new emojis set to light up our keyboards

From breastfeeding to broccoli

24 Mar 2017

There's a sex side-effect which benefits you for 48 hours, study finds

It's all about what's known as the sex "afterglow".

by Hayley Spencer
24 Mar 2017

This is how much the houses in Big Little Lies cost

Spoiler: they're VERY expensive.

by Hayley Spencer
23 Mar 2017

Scientists reveal why you need to stop flaking on plans with friends

Don't flake it 'til you make it

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Mar 2017

Revealed: the number one reason that women break up with their partner

The truth hurts

23 Mar 2017

Been zombied? There’s now a name for this confusing dating behaviour

It's time to talk about the zombies of the dating world...

23 Mar 2017

10 female anthems to share with your mum this Mother's Day

The most moving anthems about motherhood by our favourite female artists.

by Alice Vincent
23 Mar 2017

Londoners share messages of unity and defiance after Parliament attack

“Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism”

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Mar 2017