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

This new DIY divorce app vows to help you to ‘consciously uncouple’

Because there really is an app for everything nowadays

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Jan 2017

Rachel Court wants employers to watch for these abuse warning signs

A woman who survived being shot by her husband has shared a letter from her old boss, revealing the extent to which her partner controlled her life for years

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Jan 2017

Hidden and pop-up home office inspiration for any living space

You don't need a whole spare room to build your dream workspace

by Amy Swales
18 Jan 2017

These are the 7 best-rated pizza restaurants in the UK

We scoured TripAdvisor, so you don’t have to.

by Moya Crockett
18 Jan 2017

Teenage girls are being targeted as the next generation of UK spies

Social media-savvy? You might have what it takes to be a secret agent.

by Moya Crockett
18 Jan 2017

Amazing new video confirms all Pixar films are set in same universe

It's official, Disney says so

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Jan 2017

The 15 key life lessons we learned from Sabrina the Teenage Witch

From tackling addictions to unleashing our inner witch

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Jan 2017

March for a more equal world

Your essential guide to making your voice heard this Saturday

by The Stylist web team
17 Jan 2017

Everything you need to know about the Women’s March on London

From where to meet to what to wear.

by Moya Crockett
17 Jan 2017

Gossiping is good for you, study suggests

We knew it.

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Jan 2017