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Pay Transparency? I think YES!

Companies should look to practice fairness and due diligence with their compensation and benefits. Honesty is the best policy.

By TheBusinessPeriodPublished 12 months ago 4 min read
Recognizing pay disparities within the same job function

It's finally happening! The American public is speaking up and wants to know the truth: Where's the salary on this application? To lead this pay transparency movement is the Big Apple. Starting May 15, 2022, any New York employer with over five employees will be required to post the minimum and maximum salary expectations on each job posting. 

As a now-former job seeker, I spent the last three years looking for the most reliable job that met my standards. It was a hard find. You want a good job as a recent graduate that can check off all the boxes. A career job that has the benefits of great work experience is good at first. However, if you're having a great interview with the hiring manager and they give you the lowest number you've heard of, all of those other perks do not matter. Because at the end of the day, your livelihood depends on your salary. Need to pay off debt? Need to move to a better place? Getting tired of not contributing to a retirement fund? Just about every aspect of having a decent life requires money! So overall, I think it's a pretty stable idea to promote a new culture centering on pay transparency, and using it to solve any wealth gap disparities puts this nation in a progressive direction.

Let me show you the reality of why pay transparency is important:

A position I applied for.

This shows up under the job description

The email I received 24 hours after applying.

"Anyone who does anything useful will not go unpaid."- Henry Ford

"If you don't value your time, neither will others. Stop giving away your time and talents. Value what you know and start charging for it." - Kim Garst, Founder and CEO of Boom! 

Imagine you currently work at a part-time contract job. Knowing it'll end in the next month, you buckle down on the job search. Updating your resume, sharpening your interview skills, and applying for jobs that align with your experience. You end up finding great openings that'll elevate your career. You do not see the pay rate numbers on the job description but you have confidence compensation will not be a problem. After you apply, an email inviting you for an interview pumps you up, then crashes you down with one flaw: the pay (or lack thereof)! 

I cannot tell you how many times that has happened to me. The screenshotted email you saw is only one of many jobs with little or no pay offering that I've experienced. It's the same experience many underrepresented groups have endured over the course of their career journey. Visualize the hard work that goes into the job search process. For some, it can take six months. For others, it'll take three years. Now imagine how much time could be cut back if the salary/range of salary was displayed on the job description? 

I do not find fairness in people working hard to obtain a living wage, being subjected to trickery that surrounds a paycheck. This can be beneficial for both employees and management. For employees, you'll weed out companies who pay below your desired salary. From a management perspective, volumes of applications drastically reduce, meaning less stress is placed on your HR/Recruitment teams to find new talent. 

Why do I think pay transparency is a good thing?

We have bills

This has to be the most obvious reason for needing to know the salary of a job. For you to maintain your lifestyle, it costs! Housing, food, student loans, credit cards, you get the picture. Your salary correlates to how stable your lifestyle will be. 

Wage Gaps exists

As a Black woman, I on average will earn $0.62 compared to a white male's $1.00. And that gap gets wider when Black women enroll in college at a higher rate than men. Even in executive positions, the wage gap is present. It's a problem when you're told by recruiters to "have the confidence of a mediocre white man" to be paid fairly. It's sad when you have the same role as a white coworker and they're getting paid 26–35% more than you. The wage gap and racial bias issue intersect with the job market at this point: pay transparency. Wouldn't it be fairer to skip past the charades and eliminate bias by uploading salary on applications? Because from my experience, pay transparency makes way for equal pay initiatives. It's like killing two birds with one stone!

I want to be happy when I work

A happy employee is a great employee. When I feel like I'm part of the team, I'm more engaged in my work. I'm more sociable with my peers, thus creating a positive work environment. When employees are compensated fairly, the art of appreciation and cohesiveness will take a company far. A transparent salary provides an added boost for workers to be more motivated and will help to retain them over time as well.


My word of advice: get comfortable with talking about your salary. Be bold enough to say to the hiring manager, "You cannot get the best candidates if you're not willing to pay them fairly." Or if you're an established employee, pull your coworkers to the side and compare salaries. Find the discrepancies and work together to change them. Progress can only come when everyone is on board!


About the Creator


Writing about life experiences, personal finance and, career insights that impact the millennials and Gen Z culture.



Medium: @thebusinessperiod

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