During a recent dinner conversation I found a sharp division between generations on the topic of sharing salary numbers. Older employees thought secrecy was a good idea but younger ones thought transparency was best.
Ask Me How Much Money I Make: Pay Gets More Transparent
Nearly half of millennials surveyed said they talk about their compensation with friends, compared with 36% of Americans overall
Managing a generation of young people inclined to share relationship statuses and meal photos on social media requires employers to adjust the way they approach compensation, experts say.
“Pay and promotions are not secretive topics anymore,” says Mary Ann Sardone, who consults with large employers on compensation issues and leads the workforce-rewards practice at benefits consultant Mercer, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Co MMC 1.33% s.
“Companies are spending more time ensuring their pay decisions are fair, and highlighting career paths under the assumption that the information is going to be widely shared,” she says….
When Cameron Feenstra received a job offer this summer from Prattle Analytics, a St. Louis-based research firm, the first thing the 22-year-old did was call his sister. Although he was willing to take a below-market salary for the chance to work at a fast-growing startup, Mr. Feenstra wanted to ensure that his offer of $42,000 was a fair annual salary for his role as a junior quantitative analyst.
After talking about salaries with friends and family, and consulting anonymous career and salary-sharing websites such as Glassdoor, Mr. Feenstra decided to negotiate for more money, even though it was his first real job in the field.
“People who don’t ask around never learn how to negotiate, because they don’t know where everyone else is” in terms of salary as a reference point, Mr. Feenstra says. He got a pay bump to $45,000 before accepting the offer.
The attitude shift has put greater pressure on employers to explain why some workers are paid more than others and to formalize compensation and promotion practices, says Kristina Launey, a partner at law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP, which specializes in labor and employment issues.
What do you think? Secrecy or transparency? Do you believe that secrecy helps perpetuate the gender wage gap? Do you share salary information with co-workers, friends, or extended family members?
Do you want to share, at least anonymously?