Salary transparency

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2007
Salary transparency
Mon, 08-19-2013 - 10:57am

My husband is a state employee and his salary (as well as every other state employee, obviously) has been made public for a few years now.  My husband has no problem with it, but it just seems kind of invasive to me.

I saw another company is making headlines today for the same thing. SumAll, a technology company, has created a "transparent workplace" where all employees are aware of what each other makes.

What do you think of this? Is salary transparency a good idea or a bad one?


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Mon, 08-19-2013 - 11:44am

I think this is a private matter. I don't want people to know how much I make. It seems to be inviting trouble.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2012
Mon, 08-19-2013 - 2:09pm

I think it could actually be a good thing.  If you are working for a fair company, there should be no surprises.  It would show that employees are being compensated fairly based on experience, work history, performance, etc.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Tue, 08-20-2013 - 7:28am

I am an Air Force veteran and my DH retired Air Force.  Pay for the military is posted.  But pay is based on set criteria,  time in service, time in grade etc.  It is the same with my DD2 who is a teacher, but again the pay is based on set criteria.  I assume it is probably the same for your DH as a state employee.

In jobs where salries are based on straight  facts,  a SSgt who has been in for 7 years makes XXX or a teacher with 8 years experience makes XXX I see no issue.  That is much different from Joe Smith makes XXX. 

But in jobs where salaries are not based on  straight criteria I think it could be an issue.  Can create some friction when some think that others who are making more than they are that should not be.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Tue, 08-20-2013 - 4:21pm

For state and federal employees, whose salaries are funded by the taxpayers, I think disclosure is fair. For employees of private companies, I'm not so sure. On the one hand, it could help the gender gap in salaries; on the other, it does seem like an invasion of privacy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Tue, 08-20-2013 - 4:30pm

If you want to cause tension and resentment in your place of business, go for it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Wed, 08-21-2013 - 9:06am

In this country, the salaries of public employers who make above a certain amount (in the very senior levels) are published but that's it. Even in the public service there is a range of salaries for each level/job description so as to encourage employee performance. The same is true for teachers here, who are employees of the province. There has to be some way to reward an excellent teacher over a "so so" teacher.

Publishing salaries will cause resentment in the work place.  It might work for factory and unionized jobs where people's salary advancement is based solely on years of service but that's it. As for the "gender gap", is that still a problem in the US?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Wed, 08-21-2013 - 7:08pm

"As for the "gender gap", is that still a problem in the US?"

Yes, it is a problem here, as well as everywhere else in the world, including Canada. Much progress has been made, but it's still not a given anywhere that women will be paid the same as a man for doing the same work.

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Thu, 08-22-2013 - 8:58pm
I grew up at a time when talking salary was considered rude and with some people/company it still is. Private or public I dn't think there's a need to publish actual salaries but I do confess and like to read the annual reports of professionals that get published in the USAtoday, some of those numbers surprise me.



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Mon, 08-26-2013 - 11:18am

Ash...You can speak about your own country but please do not include other countries.

I am a professional woman with over 40 years experience and in a traditional male-dominated field in Canada,  I can assure you that women are not being "held down" simply because they are women.

Not only is it against our Bills of Rights but we have very strong unions and professional organizations.  Canada is a very different country from the US; we are a social democracy with different legal and governmental systems, a much more secular country than the US.

This is also the country were half of the premiers (like your governors but with more power) are women. One is even Gay, the Premier of Ontario.  We have had women governor generals and even a woman prime minister. 

Some of our highest paid professions-medicine, law and chemical engineering are now over 50% female. Our universities and colleges are close to 60% female and these girls are not taking liberal arts degrees. (Unlike in the US, liberal arts degrees are not common.).  They are in more "career targeted" programs like business, accounting, the pure sciences, computer science, nursing and engineering.  Infact, we are having problems with our young men. There has been so much emphasis placed on encouraging our girls over the last few decades, we have forgotten our boys.

Also, be careful how you look at statistics. More women in Canada work part-time than men to balance child care with work life, by choice. We have up to 12 months parental leave per child by law (at reduced salary paid by the government) with a quananteed job to return to for new parents. (Some couples  tend to share the time off but it is usually the woman who takes the 12 months). Even highly paid female professionals, like doctors, are working part-time. For example, my female GP has been working part-time for the last 15 years.  All this factors into any average statistics calculations.

The truth is any woman here who has the talent and ability, who is willing to work hard is not going to be held back just because she is a woman.