Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

From today’s Business Insider:

For a few weeks last fall, I was consumed by a strange habit that had me spending a lot of time on LinkedIn, of all apps. Thanks to a new law implemented by New York City, and in anticipation of legislation passed in California and Washington, employers were doing something for the first time: They were listing the salary ranges for every job opening they were advertising.

For generations, salaries have been one of society’s most closely guarded secrets, on par with America’s nuclear launch codes and Area 51. Companies don’t share them with job candidates, employees don’t share them with coworkers — even close friends don’t share them with one another. In one survey, when asked which topics were too taboo to discuss with friends, more Americans chose their incomes than marital problems, religious beliefs, political views, mental illness, drug use, and sexual orientation. 

But now, there the numbers were on LinkedIn, for everyone to see. Writer at CNN: ​​$77,840 to $144,560Correspondent at The New York Times: $115,506.56 to $170,000.00. Editorial director at Google: $228,000 to $342,000. Every day I obsessively checked the salaries on LinkedIn’s job portal, the way you might keep tabs on Zillow for home prices in a neighborhood you like.

Part of it, I suppose, was voyeuristic — the thrill of getting to see what was previously hidden. But part of it was pragmatic. Knowing what other people make was a way of more accurately gauging my own earning potential. Am I getting paid fairly? Could I — should I — be earning more? The newly listed salary ranges were a treasure trove of data points I could use to calibrate my internal am-I-underpaid-ometer.

Pay-disclosure laws signal a new era of transparency in the workplace. No longer will our salaries be shrouded in secrecy, forcing us to negotiate in the dark for fair wages. Not only are employers being forced to reveal what they pay, but employees are starting to disclose what they earn. They’re doing so through anonymous spreadsheets, on Glassdoor and TikTok, and, more radically, among a new generation of workers, in conversations with colleagues and friends.

I’m a true believer in the benefits of this new world. Transparency will fundamentally alter our relationship with our employers and enable us to better advocate ourselves. And there’s strong evidence that it will lead to fairer compensation for everyone. With salaries out in the open, it won’t be as easy for companies to pay women less than men, say, or new hires more than old hands. Wages will be more like prices — right there on the tag, for all to see.

But there’s a glaring catch to my support for pay transparency: I haven’t actually practiced it in my own life.

Read the complete story here.

By Editor