Secrets, Salaries and Women

Whether it’s traditionally-female occupations like nurses and teachers, or under-represented “C” level positions, women continue to be underpaid and fired more often than their male counterparts.

Excerpt from a LinkedIn article, “Why Salaries Shouldn’t Be Secret”

No one knows exactly why Jill Abramson was fired as editor of the NYT. But one thing is clear: she was fired not long after she started asking questions about the amount that she had been paid, over the course of her career in NYT senior management, compared to the amount that her male predecessor was paid.

Very few people like to talk about how much money they make — especially not people who earn a lot of money. Since companies tend to be run by people who earn a lot of money, the result is a culture of silence and secrecy when it comes to pay. Such a culture clearly served the NYT ill in this case. If the salaries of senior NYT management had not been a closely-guarded secret, then Abramson would not have been shocked when she found out how much Bill Keller made before her, and Arthur Sulzberger would not have reacted badly to Abramson’s questions about pay.

Indeed, secrecy surrounding pay is generally a bad idea for any organization. Ben Horowitz has the best explanation of why that is: it can’t help but foment poisonous internal politics. But there are other reasons, too.

via Why Salaries Shouldn’t Be Secret | LinkedIn.


5 thoughts on “Secrets, Salaries and Women

  1. Actually according to this morning’s Washington Post she was paid 10% more than her male predecessor.

    1. Thanks for the update…still, she is on “top” of the career field and among a rarified 3% of female CEOs. Hardly a fair comparison for the millions of working women currently underpaid.

  2. I think there is still an underlying current of the belief that women are lucky to have a job at all that’s not teaching, nursing or momming. I think it’s a belief that permeates the thinking of both genders, to some extent, a belief that, possibly to which none of us is conscious of subscribing.

    1. I know that it’s not just an us-against-them. Men, as a group, are not the issue; perception is clearly a huge factor. When polled, most Americans (women included) did not see a woman president in our (near) future.

      1. Yes, it would be a huge mistake for the Dems to run Hilary if they hope to win. It’s so weird, but here I am, 62, and really disappointed that “it didn’t come true” and I can’t say what “it” is — I just imagined something different by now, a different world. I just put my shoulder to the wheel (and head in the sand?) and tired to work on my little corner of the world sure everyone else was doing the same. But…now I know that the work I’ve done in my little corner has been countered by work some other person with completely different values has done in their little corner of the world. Expediency vs. ideals.

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