You should always talk about your salary with your coworkers

As much as companies talk about equality, meritocracy and transparency at the workplace, most companies will never willingly revealing salary ranges of their job positions whether within the company or on job listings. People are told not to talk about pay and salary to their coworkers. I've heard reasons ranging from you will piss off your coworkers to its against the law to talk about it (this is a lie). In reality, most companies don't want you to reveal your salary and talk to others about it because they're underpaying you.

The root of most people's unhappiness with their current job is either the pay or their boss. A lot of companies can gain the good faith of their employees by having pay transparency. This doesn't mean the company needs to reveal everybody's actual salary but instead they can show the salary ranges of all job titles. They easily solve a lot of their employee's unhappiness with pay transparency but they won't. This is because by revealing pay ranges; they would end up having to pay people more overall.

I once heard from a coworker, your pay is how your company respects you. If your company underpays you, they don't respect you and you shouldn't respect the company. Companies should pay their employees what their position deserves. Just because you've worked at the same company for a number of years doesn't mean that the company can pay you less than somebody who just started with the same job title (them getting market rate). Pay transparency will reveal whether your company respects you by paying you a fair salary or not.

I believe pay transparency is the foundation of both equality and meritocracy. The whole idea of meritocracy is if you work hard and put in 110%, you will be rewarded and naturally rise up the promotion ladder. But in the real life, I've seen many times where somebody doesn't work hard or very little gets promoted faster. Most of time, there are signs of nepotism, brown nosing or old's boys club style promotions. All of this is opaque of course. You can only speculate if somebody is getting more than you at the same position. This greatly affects minorities or women who don't fit the mold. Without pay transparency, there is no true equality. Many minorities and women who are hard working and do excellent work but get under paid compared their male/white counterparts. Without pay transparency, they will never know.

The laws are slowing changing to support pay transparency. Colorado recently passed a law that requires all open positions to display the pay range of the position they're offering. Some companies are trying to skirt the law by posting wide ranges (25,000 to 250,000). You know these companies are underpaying their staff. New York has a similar law passed but it's been delayed. Once New York, California and Texas all pass laws similar to Colorado's, most companies would have no choice but to display pay ranges of their positions. They would have to if they want to compete for the talents in those states. In the meanwhile, don't be afraid to discuss your salary with your coworkers. Maybe you're making the same as them, maybe you're make more. Your coworker finding out you make more than them won't be mad at you, they would be mad at the company. At the end of the day, you have to be loyal to one company: yourself.

pay transparency  meritocracy  equality