According to Lily Konings, disclosing salary will give you a better understanding of how much your labor is worth and how much of a raise you can demand at work.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on August 2, 2021. It has since been updated.
Discussing salary with others has always been an awkward conversation to have. You either feel like you're showing off or feel like you are a failure in comparison to that friend with twice the paycheck you get. Sometimes you may even be shocked by the realization that you were being underpaid to do the same job someone else was getting paid more for. This is one reason it is important to try and get through the uncomfortable feeling of having to discuss money with others, especially those in the same industry as you. It will give you a better understanding of how much your labor is worth and how much of a raise you can demand at work.
A Product Designer who works at Facebook urged her followers to do the same. "Please talk salary with your friends and peers," Lily Konings wrote in the tweet. She went on to explain, "As someone who grew up pinching pennies, I couldn't even fathom the amount I could get paid in tech. When I moved to SF, I asked for $100K, received a phenomenal offer at $120K, then realized everyone was getting paid $150K." This tweet soon started a conversation about the pros and cons of discussing salary with friends on Twitter. There was a lot of back and forth with the usual arguments for why not everyone gets paid the same.
This is a great repository of design salaries, please consider to submit your salary here so we can all make better decision on salary negotiation. https://t.co/1DsMvo8vgY— Ryan Yao (@RyanQYao) July 28, 2021
Glassdoor and some other websites allow you to share and view others salaries. It's come in handy to me.— Brenda (@yeaSayer2020) July 29, 2021
But definitely agree that recruiters should disclose the pay range.
(2/3) I asked for a salary adjustment to reflect the true scope of my role and was told there was nothing in the budget. Later, I found out that my coworkers who were less experienced than me and joined the company 2 years after I did were being paid >30k more than me.— Alik Brundrett (@alikdesigns) July 28, 2021
This spurred me to ask for more. I researched what my role was worth, considering all the value I added. They told me payroll couldn’t increase a salary past a certain percentage of the initial salary. With a raise to $45k, I was still making less than half. I left shortly after.— Leigh Hill (@lleeiigghh) July 28, 2021
Some people agreed with Konings and one user stated: Couldn’t agree more. it wasn’t until I spoke to a male coworker that I realized he was getting paid at least 25% more. Mind you, I was #1 in sales. I think it ties to our upbringings and cultural norms which tell us not to share too many details. in reality, it’s holding us back. Discussing salary will especially help women because women still get paid just 82 cents to every dollar earned by men. This gap will further vary depending on the race of the woman, according to a report by the American Association of University Women (AAUW.)
On the other hand, there were people who disagreed with Konings. This Twitter user said: Talking salary is fine but expecting the same as someone else is not. Just because A is making 150 doesn't mean B and C also should be making 150. Keeping up with the others is not a good game to get caught up in playing. Everyone makes their own deal - make yours. The argument about the level of skill each person possesses that determines is an old argument for unequal pay. Another person wrote: Kinda conflicted on this...Talent should feel well-compensated but everyone’s # is different. Sounds like you would’ve been content if not compared to your peers...you got more than you wanted. Low-wage is a different story. Open convo can help, but can also breed undue resentment.
100000%— Lily (@lilykonings) July 28, 2021
10000% this!! 👏— C (@CChocobo) July 28, 2021
It was the absolute best way for me to learn when I was underpaid , as well as inform others of the same.
Talking money openly lead me and designers I’ve worked with/for to both get better offers as well as understand what the market was.
But the thing about being undervalued is that you will never even think about demanding what is actually due. Twitter user Kit said: Sit down with examples and encourage your friends. I moved countries a couple of decades ago and never applied for the right jobs because I couldn’t believe the rate, despite being told before I left. It took me years to believe I was worth that much. Konings also clarified the real reason to openly discuss salary is to get your due. In a follow-up tweet, she said: "The moral of that story isn't to be greedy. Ultimately it's all stupidly high numbers. The point is equal pay for equal work. It was soul-crushing to know my peers (esp men) of the same title and years was making significantly more than me simply because I didn't know better."