Equal Pay Day: 4 Ways Salary Transparency Can Boost Your Career

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Most of us are taught not to openly discuss finances and salaries. We’re taught that such information is private and that asking another woman her salary is like asking her age — a cultural no-no. But keeping each other in the dark doesn’t serve anyone, and it even helps sustain a gender pay gap. Despite decades of fighting for equality in the workplace, the sad reality is that women are still not paid fairly and often make less than a man doing the same job.

“Women want to see that they are being paid fairly,” states Rachael Evans, leading bravery adviser and founder of The Brave Media Network. “What we want to see is that there is no bias against gender, ethnicity, or age.”

One solution to help close the gap is to be open and honest with each other about salaries and pay ranges. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask employers and coworkers about pay ranges or to use resources such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn to find the information we need. To learn more about how we can close the gender pay gap and the benefits of salary transparency, CircleAround spoke to a few career experts. 

Here are four benefits of salary transparency that they highlighted. 


1It Helps Employees Negotiate for Promotions and Raises

Knowledge is power, and you’ll feel stronger negotiating when you feel prepared and armed with the proper information. With salary transparency, you can provide a strong case for a promotion or pay rise that your manager or HR department can’t argue against. 

It can also help you when applying for a new job. “Transparency allows for women to make more informed decisions when applying for new roles in different companies,” Evans tells CircleAround, “allowing them to match what they and their household need to make being in the workforce a worthwhile exercise in the first place, with what a company is offering for a particular role, and then how that salary compares to others.”

2It Helps Employees Know Their Worth on the Offset

“Salary transparency will also help you determine if the position you are applying for aligns with your skills and perceived value to the organization,” Miko Covin, director of recruitment marketing and employer branding at Atrium, tells CircleAround. “When you are making the leap and changing jobs, your starting salary is perhaps one of the most important metrics that will help determine your future raises, bonuses, and other benefits a company is offering.”

It’s important to know your worth, but also set realistic expectations. “Knowing the salary range will also help prevent you from suggesting a number that may be beyond your wildest

3It Helps Employers Stay Accountable

Having insight into the pay bands of the roles at your company ultimately ensures that there are no secrets between employees and employers. Evans feels that the most important aspect of salary transparency comes in the form of the accountability it asks of the employer for pay equality.

“Without transparency, employees of any level can’t see where they rank on the pay scale against someone else with the same experience, qualifications, and tenure,” she explains. 

“The change we seek will only take place if more women are able to acknowledge what they may be afraid to ask,” she adds, “But it’s in asking that employers will be more accountable to ensure salary transparency and pay equality.”

4It Helps Close the Gender Pay Gap

Ultimately, salary transparency is required in order to gain equal pay across industries. “With salary transparency, women would be paid on the same scale as men are, according to their skills and experience regardless of gender,” Dr. Roshawnna Novellus, CEO of EnrichHER, tells CircleAround. “Women would definitely benefit from this as they progress through the workforce and move up to higher ranks.” Evans adds, “The financial gain made while at work is only one way we are remunerated as women in the workplace. The other is made through the validation that we are paid equally.”

The Bottom Line

Being open and honest about how much money we make can feel uncomfortable at first. After all, we are often taught that money is an unsavory topic. But the more secretive we are about salaries, the less we can fight against the gender pay gap. Salary transparency helps women boost each other up, know how much their worth, and to fight for the salaries they deserve. 

Tags: Communication, Friends, Gender Equality, Personal Finance, Women's History Month

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Written By

Katka Lapelosová

Katka is a writer from New York City, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia. See Full Bio

CircleAround is owned by One GS Media, a subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA, and we make financial distributions to benefit the next generation of Girl Scouts. We strive to make the world a better place by supporting each other today and emboldening the women leaders of tomorrow.

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