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How much do you make?
If you’re like most American workers, that question makes you feel pretty uncomfortable. It can be the social equivalent of asking someone how much they weigh- a deeply personal and sensitive question you might not want to answer.
To better understand the impact of salary transparency in the workplace, we surveyed just under 1,500 American workers. The result? Tight lips equal light bank accounts.
- 30% of workers would not be comfortable sharing their salaries at all.
- Another are 20% uncertain about whether or not they’d share how much they make.
- Only 45% of workers feel they are adequately paid; Another 25% say they are “somewhat” fairly paid.
- 25-34 year olds are most comfortable sharing salary information- a whopping 58% are willing to discuss salary.
- Those over 45 are least willing to share their salary at work.
- Half of workers would ask for more money if they knew coworkers made more than them.
- It pays to make friends: 29% of workers report they would only feel comfortable discussing salary at work with close, friendly coworkers.
- Good luck finding our your boss’ salary: Only 6% would feel comfortable telling someone who directly reports to them how much they make.
What age group is most transparent about pay?
Workers 25-34 years old are most comfortable sharing salary information- a whopping 58% are willing to discuss salary. Who is less eager to share? Older workers. In particular, those over 45.
As this age group ages and advances in their careers, this open attitude could increase salary transparency. However, it is possible younger workers will shed their desire to freely share salary information as they are promoted.
Does Salary Transparency Lead To Higher Pay?
Workers expecting a large raise were most likely to say, without reservations, they would would share their salary.
Knowledge is power. In particular, when it comes to salary negotiations. Combined with 50% of our respondents reporting they would ask for money if they knew colleagues made more, it presents a compelling narrative.
Workers are more likely to ask for money when they have insider information and are aware of company payrolls. Similarly, employers are less likely to reward generous raises or salaries when not asked.
Zippia.com, a career resource website, conducted a study of 1,438 American workers to better understand salary transparency in the American workplace. All workers were recruited through Amazon’s M. Turk. Each worker was asked, in addition to demographic questions, the same 7 simple questions on their thoughts involving sharing salary in the workplace.
Keeping Quiet Can Cost You
Discussing salary can be uncomfortable.
Finding out you make more (or less) than a coworker can be socially unpleasant and might even hurt some feelings. However, it also might help you negotiate a higher wage and know if you are being grossly underpaid.
Hidden salaries only benefit employers. Even if you are personally fairly compensated, your coworkers might not be as lucky. Lack of salary transparency can heighten gender and racial salary inequities.
So next a coworker asks how much you make, you should consider telling them. It might just make you all a bit better off.
Percent Of Workers Who Discuss Salary At Work
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