60% of tech workers say they're discouraged from discussing pay
- Around 60% of tech workers in a new Blind survey said that their current employer discourages talk about salary between co-workers — despite laws that protect such activity.
- The survey of 8,862 people on the Blind platform found that Booking.com had the highest percentage of workers who said management/HR discourages them from discussing their pay with other employees (71%), followed by Cisco (67%) and Microsoft (65%).
- Interestingly, employers whose worker base skewed young tended to rank lower for pay secrecy, including companies like Facebook (near 17%), Salesforce (39%) and Lyft (near 42%).
While pay transparency can help with pay equality, the taboo against talking about compensation has held many back from discussing it. But that mindset is changing: A recent Willis Towers Watson poll revealed that as employers face pressure on pay equity, more are revamping their compensation strategies and instilling transparency in the process. Much of this is employee driven; Google employees made headlines when it was revealed they were posting and comparing their wages online in a bold break with tradition.
Social changes, like the #MeToo movement and the continued influx of millennials and Gen Zers, also have pushed forward the transparency and equity initiatives. Some employers and job boards have even taken to posting salary ranges in job ads — especially as laws banning questions about salary history take effect across the country.
For those afraid of what pay transparency might bring, HR can help alleviate some concerns by reviewing pay practices, working to address any disparities and creating a compensation structure based on objective criteria. Recent research from PayScale also shows that employees may value pay fairness more than dollar amount. This can mean empowering managers to explain how pay is set, providing both them and employees with "total compensation" reports.