- Although salary transparency can help reduce the gender pay gap, older generations are more likely to feel like discussing pay is discouraged in their workplaces.
- 81% of Gen Z respondents see honesty as being good for pay equality, compared to 28% of Baby Boomers.
- It becomes harder for organizations to pay workers unfairly when their salaries are open to public scrutiny.
How would you feel if all of your fellow employees knew how much you earned?
Some might feel uncomfortable, but this isn’t the case for the majority of Generation Z.
Gen Z, typically defined as the 72 million people born between 1997 and 2012, are a new breed of worker. This generation’s values are rapidly shifting and evolving, as well as what they expect from their careers and employers.
This generation isn’t afraid to ask for what it wants, especially when it comes to work. Gen Z is more open about how much they earn than any generation has been before them, and isn’t afraid to advocate for pay transparency.
Gen Z workers value pay transparency
According to LinkedIn’s July Workforce Confidence Index, Gen Z is much more willing to share what their salary is compared to other working generations.
The report found that 81% of Gen Z respondents see honesty as being good for pay equality, compared to 28% of Baby Boomers.
34% of Gen Zers are willing to share pay information with anyone who asks, but this drops to just 4% for Baby Boomers.
Although salary transparency can help reduce the gender pay gap, older generations are more likely to feel like discussing pay is discouraged in their workplaces.
There isn’t a large generational difference when it comes to salary transparency with family members, but the divide is clear when it comes to sharing your salary with a coworker: 9% of Baby Boomers will share this information with their coworkers, compared to 32% of Gen Z, 24% of Millennials and 17% of Gen X.
Perhaps Gen Z is more willing to share their salary information because money motivates them less than previous generations, and is therefore less important to them to keep secret.
While salary remains an important factor, a study conducted by Deloitte reveals that Gen Z values salary less than every other generation.
Workforce leaders are especially unlikely to share their salary information
According to the Workforce Confidence Index published in August, which polled nearly 19,000 business professionals from June 4 through July 2, nearly a quarter of senior leaders aren’t willing to share their pay with anyone.
Only 5% of C-suite executives would share their pay with coworkers they trust, and only 34% of senior leaders agreed that increased pay transparency would lead to greater equality in pay.
What are the benefits of pay transparency?
When compensation is made fully transparent, it becomes harder for organizations to pay workers unfairly because their salaries are open to public scrutiny.
Pay transparency actually has a huge impact on both pay equity (how fairly people are paid in regards to gender) and on pay equality (how similarly people are paid compared with their peers), according to Quartz at Work.
In a study reported by Quartz at Work, the gender pay gap was reduced by up to 45% in transparent organizations compared to those in the study that didn’t disclose salary data. Pay inequality also dropped by about 20%.
“Across the board, salary transparency does help eliminate those asymmetric information problems that can contribute to the gender wage gap, racial wage issues and the labor market. At the end of the day, we do want a labor market that is fair and equitable for everybody,” said AnnElizabeth Konkel, Economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab.
Here’s how to talk about your salary
While workers shouldn’t feel that the responsibility of achieving pay equality completely falls on their shoulders, talking about what you are being paid with your coworkers can be very beneficial.
According to the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, by law employees are allowed to discuss their pay with coworkers.
Still, some companies will fire employees for discussing pay by making them sign non-disclosure agreements.
If you feel anxious about discussing your pay, try talking to your coworker about the subject outside of the workplace.
If this isn’t possible, then bring up the topic when it’s most appropriate, and start off by voluntarily disclosing your salary first.