Gender Gaps in Online Social Connectivity, Promotion and Relocation Reports on LinkedIn


  • Ghazal Kalhor University of Tehran
  • Hannah Gardner University of Oxford
  • Ingmar Weber Saarland University
  • Ridhi Kashyap University of Oxford



Online professional social networking platforms provide opportunities to expand networks strategically for job opportunities and career advancement. A large body of research shows that women’s offline networks are less advantageous than men’s. How online platforms such as LinkedIn may reflect or reproduce gendered networking behaviours, or how online social connectivity may affect outcomes differentially by gender is not well understood. This paper analyses aggregate, anonymised data from almost 10 million LinkedIn users in the UK and US information technology (IT) sector collected from the site’s advertising platform to explore how being connected to Big Tech companies (‘social connectivity’) varies by gender, and how gender, age, seniority and social connectivity shape the propensity to report job promotions or relocations. Consistent with previous studies, we find there are fewer women compared to men on LinkedIn in IT. Furthermore, female users are less likely to be connected to Big Tech companies than men. However, when we further analyse recent promotion or relocation reports, we find women are more likely than men to have reported a recent promotion at work, suggesting high-achieving women may be self-selecting onto LinkedIn. Even among this positively selected group, though, we find men are more likely to report a recent relocation. Social connectivity emerges as a significant predictor of promotion and relocation reports, with an interaction effect between gender and social connectivity indicating the payoffs to social connectivity for promotion and relocation reports are larger for women. This suggests that online networking has the potential for larger impacts for women, who experience greater disadvantage in traditional networking contexts, and calls for further research to understand differential impacts of online networking for socially disadvantaged groups.




How to Cite

Kalhor, G., Gardner, H., Weber, I., & Kashyap, R. (2024). Gender Gaps in Online Social Connectivity, Promotion and Relocation Reports on LinkedIn. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 18(1), 800-812.