Turning LinkedIn into a Social and Political Statement

I spend a good deal of time on LinkedIn, and find it a valuable site, but there are some things that bother me, like the time they wanted people to bring their mommies and daddies to the office. (Just say no!) The other thing that bothers is me is that they are constantly asking me to include what causes I care about.

Knowing what I care about does not indicate my ability to do any particular job, and it can bring up controversy that most people would rather not inject into the networking process. Not everyone likes the same organizations and wants to support the same agenda. Activism of all sorts can make a future employer nervous. Are you going to come into work for me and, instead, be focused on your pet cause?

But, what if the company you work for decides to make your LinkedIn profile part of their activism? Consulting Giant Booz Allen Hamilton, as part of Pride Month has changed their LinkedIn logo to include a rainbow overlay.

To keep reading, click here: Turning LinkedIn into a Social and Political Statement

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10 thoughts on “Turning LinkedIn into a Social and Political Statement

  1. I really disagree about this. I don’t think equal rights for LGBT employees is controversial or constitutes “activism” in 2016. To me, BAH’s rainbow banner is a recruiting strategy to signal inclusiveness not just to LGBT applicants but also to people like me (I’m a manager, straight, but would LOATHE working at a company where I was expected to enforce unfair rules like different policies for gay/straight/male/female expectant parents). To me, a signal of inclusivity like that is extremely different from, say, an expression of religion, which is potentially exclusive.

    1. I might argue that both examples are potentially useful from a recruiting standpoint. As a lesbian, I might feel more drawn to BAH than your alternative, but both offer information about the company/organization’s values. I think we just need to recognize that what is a draw for some of us might feel less welcoming to others.

    2. it’s not that saying being gay inclusive is a form of activism, it’s that many of us have experience with people who make a point of telling everyone they are gay friendly tend to act like activist, and often in a non-work-friendly way. Being gay friendly is much more the norm than the exception these days, so making a point of it (unless you’re in some backwards place that discriminates still), it will at the very least make you look out of touch. Some gay people will also feel patronized or treated as other, working for an employer who feels the need to point out what sexuality their employers are.

      It’s kind of like the way racism discussions have swung too far to the other side recently. There is a new generation of republicans who doesn’t care about race and isn’t racist, and you have democrats who want to “help” by constantly reviving the same old racial stereotypes that would die if they weren’t constantly being repeated by activists supposedly trying to help, coming across more racists themselves in their ever pointing out the supposed differences between races.

      My point being that people don’t want to be treated as other because they are gay or not the majority race in their area, and many forms of activism inhibit that by constantly bringing attention to your sexual orientation or race or whatever.

      And after having worked for a feminist boss who was always promoting women with less experience and mentoring them/never favoring male candidates/paying them more, etc. (though of course, I couldn’t read her mind to know whys she favored women), I personally would never work anywhere with any tie to that movement. You can support women without swinging the pendulum too far in the other direction to compensate for sexism you experienced 50 years ago at this point in your first job. Another reason activism doesn’t belong at work.

      1. Discrimination based on sex includes favoritism based on sex as well as disadvantaging someone based on their gender.

  2. But hasn’t the law prohibited employment discrimination based on sex/gender/gender identity/whatever you want to call it for a while now?
    Sorry, but to me the rainbow banner signals antagonism towards folks that disagree with the LGBT folks. Yes, it is entirely possible to disagree with them and NOT discriminate.
    If rainbow banners are ok, then expressions of faith should be just as ok (unless it’s ok to discriminate based on religion now).

    1. Actually, federal law prohibits discrimination based on gender. There’s nothing in the law that says anything about gender identity or sexual orientation, unless that’s changed in the 3 months since I moved to Europe. Certain states might have anti-discrimination laws based on these factors, but not all do.
      That being said, I agree that the things a company does on LinkedIn will influence my decision on whether to work for them. As an example, I probably wouldn’t work for a company that posts something about pink fluffy unicorns. I’m still able to discriminate against pink fluffy unicorns, right?

      1. EEOC interprets the prohibition against sex discrimination as including discrimination based on sexual stereotyping, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc.

  3. This turns my stomach. It’s not a political statement to say that you support the equal rights and treatment of people in this world. And, if anything, we need more companies to affirm their support of a diverse and inclusive workforce.

    Yikes, Suzanne.

  4. Supporting diversity is not “political,” “activism” or a hobby. It’s simply good business, not to mention the right thing to do.

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