• Lauren Mundell

Women Need Allies on LinkedIn

On Friday, I wrote a provocative piece about the generational misogyny that is prevalent on LinkedIn. Putting my ideas out on LinkedIn feels similar to how I used to feel about putting my ideas out in my corporate America life. It feels like I have to armor up with make-up and heels to come here. It feels like a boardroom brawl daily, and I have gotten sucked into it, and angry. Anger is a sign that I am imbalanced. And, it made me take a long hard look at why I come here, and how I might need to change my approach to achieve my goals. But, also how we can help and support one another here.

First of all, I am going to take a few days off from LinkedIn to go skiing with my son and not have any angry work voices in my head.

Why do I come here, and what has changed?

LinkedIn was my favorite platform for quite some time. I felt I fit in here more than I did on Instagram. I knew that my business acumen, office politics prowess, and communications skills were more suited to this platform. And, I have been building my network in earnest since 2015 when I realized this was much more than a job site. I came here for my newsfeed when Facebook became unbearable in 2016 and Instagram was intimidating for me.

When I became interested in the cannabis industry in 2018, LinkedIn was my place to meet the community. I have met some of my closest business friends here who have become real friends in real life. LinkedIn used to be a part of my social life. It used to be social media.

Now, it's work, and maybe that's why it's no longer fun, and making me feel burnt out.

For my part, I think I am guilty of using LinkedIn for attention-seeking instead of for connection. And, that part is going to stop. Posts like I made last Thursday about people who still use email as a primary means of communication perhaps being dinosaurs, are canna-bro bait. Posting something provocative about ideas or opinions on LinkedIn is almost like posting a sexy photo on Instagram. You know you're going to get attention, but is it the kind of attention you really want?

But, as for what's changed; it's a total boys club and it's getting worse. Women are careful not to get canceled or black-listed by men in the industry, so most stay quiet. This has to stop. How are we supposed to raise money, earn respect and find any semblance of equity if women are consistently silenced?

Yesterday, Curt Dalton wrote an article about Canna-Bros -- he defined Bro Culture using this quote “In the workplace, bro culture is where male employees are seen as the default and female as an aberration, which leads to misogynistic and discriminatory behavior against those that are not recognized as the same.”

In the cannabis industry (I can't speak for other industries,) LinkedIn has become Bro Culture, women are seen as the aberration. We find this in comments, in the DMs and in being left out of certain conversations, webinars, opportunities, funding.

Ever since I started talking about this problem this summer, it has gotten way worse.

What's the problem, and how do we fix it?

The problem is that the misogyny in the comments, DMs and conversations are nuanced. It's just like the office. People aren't directly coming out at women about being women. Instead it's this insidious disease where men are celebrated for speaking their opinions (even harshly) and women are quieted. And, what I mentioned in my article on Friday is that you can't even see it. Even many women won't be able to see it, that's because we were raised in the patriarchy and seeing women as less than is normalized.

How can you help?

Start speaking up. When you see a woman getting shredded in comments, jump in and support the woman's point of view if you agree. If you don't agree with the woman, you can still point out the disrespect in language, tone and intent in the offensive comment.

Also, if you agree with the woman, but don't want to get involved on the feed, DM the woman. Tell her she's not crazy and that you also see it.

And, my fellow canna-women, it's not going to get better if we don't start speaking up. Join me!

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