If you’re alive and well in the Twitterverse, then you likely noticed one of the trending topics of the weekend; #talkpay. If you didn’t, well then here’s what you missed….
In celebration of International Workers Day, a Pittsburg-based programmer, named Lauren Voswinkle, wanted to open up the topic of worker’s rights and salary inequality in the American labor market for public discussion. Her intent was to break the taboo and make pay transparency a big step forward in closing the wage gap.
You can see her manifesto on Model View Culture.
“I just found myself thinking, how long have I been underpaid? How could I have prevented this? What was I missing?” said Voswinkel. “And I realized it was mostly because of a lack of conversation around pay.”
Many folks fired off tweets voicing their discomfort and fear of participating in #talkpay due to NDA’s. However, a copywriter in the Bronx named Stephanie Morillo, helped continue the conversation by offering to share anonymized pay information for individuals who sent her direct messages.
“A lot of people don’t want to be identified by their employers” she said. Which is understandable given that tech companies often instill fear in employees about disclosing their salaries, even though retribution for talking about pay is actually illegal.
Disclosing salary information is a sensitive issue, but that shouldn’t be because of gender, race, age (or any other non-merit based classification) differentiation. There are many subtle and reasonable nuances to take into consideration when determining compensation. For instance, the size and financial status of the company, the location, your work experience, etc. When seeking a new opportunity it can be hard to know what to ask for without feeling like you’re throwing arbitrary numbers at the wall, but the counsel of a trusted recruiter who knows you and your experience intimately could serve you well. Your recruiter should have a good understanding of salary averages in certain industries & companies and can give you honest advice. They should be your champion in getting you the salary you deserve – in your current role or a new one – and can help you zero in on that magic number.
Though only an estimated 20% of #talkpay participants actually disclosed their current compensation, the collective sum of folks chiming in helped aid in bringing awareness to the discord. This first step that Voswinkle inspired is a huge one in eradicating the wage gap problem by forcing us to be honest and recognize that there is a problem to overcome.