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Canadian men more LinkedIn than women but does that make then 'savvier' networkers?

Canadian men use the online business networking site LinkedIn, to connect with other business people more than women, but does than make them savvier networkers?

Glenn Lowson/The Globe and Mail

Canadian men are "savvier" at professional online networking than women, according to a data team at LinkedIn.

Not only do men participate more in the social network for professionals, but they also have more connections than their female counterparts. These two ratios were used to measure the online "savviness" of the sexes.

Canadian men weren't the only ones better at schmoozing online -- the trend held globally, according to LinkedIn's spokeswoman Danielle Restivo.

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But this doesn't mean men are better at professional networking than women; rather, it could simply be a reflection of the professional work force, said Ayelet Baron, a social media specialist and VP at Cisco Systems Canada.

"I don't understand why people look at the gender thing and think that things are going to be miraculously equal when it's a reflection of society," Ms. Baron said.

Over time, Ms. Baron expects women will become stronger at online social networking.

"It's about building relationships," she added. "That's more of a women's thing, tapping into a network and really being able to connect people."

Women make up 56 per cent of all social network users on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, according to a 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center.

Yet almost two-thirds of American LinkedIn users are men, according to the same survey.

The LinkedIn data team also broke down the gender divide by industry.

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To determine who used online networking more in a given industry, LinkedIn's data team compared the percentage of women in a given industry to the percentage of the connections they had.

In Canada, men played the social game in the textiles industry, investment banking and government relations. Women networked more in alternative medicine, shipbuilding, and alternative dispute resolution.

For architects, market researchers and public safety types, men and women were equally connected online.

Alberta Health Services had the "savviest" men and Ontario Power Generation the "savviest" women.

However, the accuracy of the data might be skewed because LinkedIn had to guess a person's gender by comparing first names to a database of baby names.

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