7 Reasons You Should Discuss Your Salary With Coworkers

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Workers discussing their salaries in an office setting AI-generated
Cheapism / DALL-E 3


Talking about money can be an uncomfortable, or even taboo topic — especially when it comes to salaries. Some employers may even openly discourage workers from discussing and comparing how much they make to control salary negotiations and prevent potential discord in the workplace. This taboo is further exacerbated by cultural norms, concerns about creating workplace tension, and the fear of repercussions from management.

But despite these concerns, there are several reasons why discussing your salary with coworkers can be beneficial. For starters, wouldn't you want to know if you're being underpaid? Plus, discussing your salary is perfectly legal and you're not breaking any rules in doing so. Here are 7 reasons why you should talk money with coworkers. 

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1. Promotes Transparency

Open conversations about salary can lead to greater transparency within the workplace. This can help employees identify whether the pay is fair and consistent across similar roles and experience levels. Plus, when salary information is made openly available, it sets a clear benchmark for employees that can help guide and inspire their career progressions within the company. 

Related: 15 Most Satisfying Jobs That Also Pay Well

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2. Provides Leverage

Knowing what your colleagues are making can provide valuable leverage when negotiating salaries, or asking for a raise. Being privy to this information can also serve as a good indicator of the company's overall compensation trends and policies to ensure that you're being fairly compensated for your work and skillset. 

Related: Underpaid? Here's How ChatGPT Can Help You Negotiate a Raise

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Andres Victorero/istockphoto

3. Identifies Inequalities

Discussing salaries can uncover disparities in pay that may be based on gender, race, or other biases. For example, statistics in many countries show that women (particularly women of color) are typically paid less than men. In the U.S., women earned an average of 82 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts in 2022, according to a study by Pew Research Analysis. 

Recognizing these inequalities is the first step towards addressing and rectifying them. It can also pave the way for more constructive and open dialogue with employers to encourage fairer and more transparent compensation policies. 

Related: Women Ruled the Economy in 2023: Find Out How

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4. Improves Morale

Open discussions about salary can pressure employers to implement fair pay practices to ensure that employees doing similar work are being fairly compensated. This can lead to a happier and, in turn, more productive workplace where morale is greatly improved and workers feel motivated and inspired to produce the best results.

But don't just take our word for it — a 2019 study by the University of Oxford found that workers were 13% more productive when they're happy and feel appreciated. 

Related: 'Work Hard, Play Hard' and Other Red Flags That SCREAM Toxic Workplace

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5. Empowers Workers

Sharing salary information empowers employees by providing them with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their career prospects and financial well-being. This can also help employers to attract and retain top talent, as prospective and current employees are more likely to feel valued and fairly treate in an environment that promotes fair pay and transparency.

Related: Workplace Traditions That Are Gone Forever

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6. Helps Fine-Tune Industry Standards

Discussing salaries can provide valuable insights into current industry standards. Having this knowledge can help you understand and identify where you stand in relation to the market rate for your position, experience, and region. 

Knowing what the average pay for your role is can also greatly enhance your career advancement and personal growth — especially when it comes to advocating for yourself and the skills that you bring to the table. 

Related: Work Less, Live Better: Here's What Redditors Have To Say About Achieving a Healthy Work-Life Balance

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7. Fosters a Healthier Work Environment

Open discussions about salary can foster a culture of support and camaraderie among colleagues. This allows employees to share advice and experiences related to compensation, benefits, and negotiation tactics so that every member feels supported. This can help create an informal peer-to-peer platform where coworkers are encouraged to speak up and unleash their full potential. 

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