By Kim Elsesser
March 24th is Equal Pay Day. This date symbolizes the extra three months into the year that women must work to earn the same amount of money their male counterparts took home in the previous year alone. The gap in pay between men and women remains stubbornly wide, and women are taking home a mere 82 cents on average for every dollar earned by men. While there’s much talk about eliminating the gender pay gap, progress has been elusive, and little has changed in the last decade. There’s one simple solution to reducing the pay gap that remains largely untapped—getting coworkers talking about their pay.
Research shows that workplaces that are more transparent about employees’ pay have narrower pay gaps. Yet, Jake Rosenfeld, a sociology professor at Washington University, St Louis and author of You’re Paid What You’re Worth and Other Myths of the Modern Economy has found that in many workplaces, employees are discouraged from discussing pay. As a result, many employees remain in the dark about pay disparities in their workplace.