The BBC reports that after Proudman sent Alexander Carter-Silke, a senior partner at law firm Brown Rudnick, an invitation to connect, she received a message from him that she felt was objectifying. In his message he wrote, “that is a stunning picture!!! You definitely win the prize for the best Linked in picture I have ever seen. [sic]”
She sent him a response calling him out on his “Unacceptable and misogynistic behaviour” and stressing that she is on LinkedIn for professional purposes and “not to be approached about [her] physical appearance.”
Matthew Scott, a lawyer and blogger, spoke about the matter with BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire. He disagreed with Proudman that Carter-Silke’s message was sexist, but rather it was “provoked from Charlotte” because she was the one to initiate contact by sending him an invitation. He says that approaching a woman because she’s attractive doesn’t mean a man is sexist, “it is just perfectly natural behaviour.”
Proudman told BBC that this was not the first time a man has approached her on LinkedIn because of her looks: “My partner gets messages asking if he wants a job at hedge funds, I get propositions from men asking me out.” She compared the way some men use LinkedIn to the way they use Tinder.
When Proudman tweeted the message from Carter-Silke along with her response, a number of other women posted pictures of similar messages they’ve received.