Salary transparency

What's Trending: Salary Transparency

What’s Trending: Salary Transparency

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Money can be a touchy subject even between people close to each other, but it becomes incredibly sensitive when coworkers have to whisper about each other’s pay. Obviously, debates about salary transparency would only add fuel to the fire, right?

Well, hold your torches because, according to experts and state governments across the USA, that might not be the case.

In fact, experts are betting on it being a great equalizer. Making companies disclose the salary ranges in their positions can close the gender pay gap and help companies find a broader talent pool that’s better suited for their needs.

You don’t need to take our word for it, read what some other publications have to say about pay transparency below:


According to a survey of 1500 people conducted in the United States for LinkedIn, pay transparency has been gaining ground among employers and employees. In the article penned by Jocelyne Gafener, she explores the deep societal taboos that permeate American society regarding talking about salary amongst coworkers, even when it is completely legal.

“Pay transparency can help companies find a more compatible pool of applicants with fewer resources and improve retention.”

Still, when Indeed looked into the numbers, these revealed that employees are happier when they know that they’re being paid fairly and that fair pay is the top consideration they have whenever thinking of accepting a new job. On top of that, employees can quit if they feel like they’re not being compensated fairly, which can happen if they suddenly learn that they have been paid less than a coworker for the same job.

In short, salary transparency can help employees feel secure in their jobs through fair wages and, thus help retain loyal workers and attract new talent better suited for the company. Meanwhile, employees discussing their current salaries can help them gain a better perspective on what fair pay is in the market and help them fight against discriminatory practices such as the gender pay gap.


The tide has been turning in favor of clear wages with the pay transparency laws in 2023, Jennifer Liu writes for CNBC. 

“Experts say it’s only a matter of time before listing salary ranges on job ads becomes the norm.”

While Colorado began moving the wheels in 2021, more and more states have added themselves to the salary transparency law movement. The state governments of California, Washington, and Rhode Island have now made amendments to their labor laws to push for clarity when it comes to advertising a position, whether it is upon request or outright, whenever they publish a job listing. 

This, combined with the new laws pending in New York, Massachusetts, and South Carolina, has made employers start to reconsider pay transparency. Some companies, even if they’re headquartered in states without salary transparency laws, are starting to publish their salary ranges, getting ahead of the curve and potentially opening their options to hiring remote workers who live in those states that do prioritize salary transparency.


In Forbes’s article, contributed by Sally Percy, she talks about how pay transparency tells more about a company to a potential new hire than just how much they’re going to get paid for their skills. She argues that it reveals the company’s values, helping potential hires determine whether they want to work for that company or not.

“This view is shared by Michelle Cheng, talent director at British venture capital firm Notion Capital. ‘A company that embraces pay transparency conveys so much more than just the salary itself,’ she argues. ‘It’s the subtext in treating everyone like an adult and establishing a culture of openness.’”

Shared values between employers and workers bring loyalty and satisfaction and possibly less turnover. This has to do with fostering a culture of openness and confidence in their wages and fairness.

Still, some people believe that the downsides can outweigh the benefits if unchecked. Some people consider that knowing how much coworkers make can lead to comparisons, decrease morale, and increase politicking. Also, this puts managers in a position to have to explain the difference in salaries and justify the performance indicators for raises. Overall, they still believe that salary transparency can work out if there are processes and companies and governments step up to help balance inequalities. 

The takeaway

Despite the taboos and reservations that American society seems to have about salary transparency, experts believe that this can be a crucial step to help equalize the playing field for everyone, especially protected minorities. Pay transparency laws are gaining ground, forcing companies to make changes in some states, while others are embracing them fully ahead of them being set in stone in their home states, leading experts to think that these will continue to become the norm across the United States.

Want to learn more about this topic, read our take on it.

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