Women More Cautious about Online Job Hunting

February 1, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A new survey finds women generally more cautious than men when it comes to the potential role of social media in finding a new job.

The poll of 4,500 people ages 15 to 34 in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada by consultant Decode asked respondents if they were open to potential employers looking at what they do with social media.  Generally, according to the survey, men in all three countries were more likely than women to agree with the statements “I think companies should allow their employees to use social media at work” and “I am open to potential employers seeking me out through social media.”

The responses:

  • 45% of U.S. men agreed, compared to 39% of women
  • 34% of U.K. men. agreed, compared to 24% of women
  • 33% of men in Canada agreed, compared to 25% of women


Women were more likely than men to look for support offline for issues they may be having in the workplace. Forty-three percent of women were against their employers looking at their online social media profiles, compared to 33% of men.

Gender disparity aside, workers of both sexes generally reported that at least part of their online social network was comprised of work colleagues. Co-workers made up an average of 25% of an individual’s online social network in the U.K., 20% in the U.S., and 19% in Canada.

Meanwhile, high school students in the U.K, Canada, and the U.S. are the least supportive of allowing social media in the workplace – 40% don’t think it should be allowed in the U.K, 45% in Canada, and 37% in the U.S. Young parents in both countries are far less dismissive – only 28% don’t think it should be allowed in the workplace in the UK, 30% in Canada, and only 22% in the U.S.

The survey report is at http://www.decode.net/wp-content/uploads/DecodeSocialMediaatWorkReport.pdf.