Pay information is finally becoming transparent


Never around the dinner table, not during the interview process and definitely not when in company — so when is it ok to talk about money? In the workplace it seems, as more and more companies (58% in fact) are becoming transparent about salaries in an effort to eradicate gender and cultural bias.

Because, despite great strides being taken to create a more diverse and equal workplace, the fact remains that in the U.S., women on average earn 16% less than men, while the difference in salary for those from Black, Asian and Hispanic communities can be as high as 43% when compared to white workers.

But let’s back up for a second. What exactly does pay transparency mean? Essentially, it refers to a company policy which involves the company sharing information about its pay grades and salary brackets before and during the hiring process and with existing employees.

It means sharing all financial information about its workers with its workers to ensure there are no discrepancies between workers doing the same jobs. Sounds great right? Well, yes. If done well, pay transparency results in a more positive, collaborative and engaged workforce because there’s no resentment between workers.

It also breaks down cultural and gender pay gaps, opens up opportunities for previously marginalized workers, and creates a workforce based on abilities and skills rather than genetic makeup.

So what’s the downside? Pay transparency requires more than just a town hall meeting and a salary memo being circulated, which is only now becoming obvious to companies. It requires a slight rethinking of HR practices and their links to salary — such as a super clear outline of how financial reward is results-driven as well as a clear explanation of the steps required to reach a higher salary bracket. Staff need to know what they must achieve if they want to step up to the next salary bracket.

For workers it poses a slightly different conundrum. If you’re bringing more value to the company than a colleague who’s on the same salary as you, how can you ensure your rewards package is representative of your output and avoid resentment? In short, this is about how you can make pay transparency work for you.

By being savvy, that’s how: Look past money and work to create a personalized, non-financial benefits package that adds to your lifestyle.

Know your worth

Why do you deserve extra benefits? When scheduling a meeting to broach this with your manager, make sure you’ve done your homework and have your pitch prepared. What value have you brought to the company over the past year, and what is your worth? Be specific here.

Look at the team average, and compare your impact. Try to avoid comparison with one co-worker, and instead compare your results with the team as a whole. This makes your pitch stronger and more professional. If you brought in 20% more than the team average, then that’s an argument for added reward. It’s harder to argue with data than it is emotion.

Know your ask

What do you want? Is it a matched 401K contribution, additional paid time off or flexibility within your work day to start a little later or finish a little earlier? Know exactly what rewards you want and suggest them to your boss – suggest them all, don’t stick on one. By bringing four to five options to your boss you’re doing the hard work for them and removing the possibility of securing a benefit that’s of no value to you.

Know when to walk

If you’re clear in your value to the company but your boss is unwilling or unable to offer a non-financial reward — then pay transparency is not working for you and you need to walk. You’ve done your homework on your worth and know what benefits you want so you have your starting point for negotiations with a new employer. There are dozens of companies currently hiring on the VentureBeat Job Board, three of which are highlighted below — all offering great benefits.


A fintech company that uses cloud-native software to change how we view cyber security, CrowdStrike is a former unicorn that continues to go from strength to strength. The company is currently hiring for a number of remote roles across network engineering, security analysis and data services. For employees, CrowdStrike offers employees health insurance, pension contributions, paid volunteer days and equity opportunities. Explore all opportunities at CrowdStrike.


Shopify is the ecommerce platform that makes it possible for anybody, anywhere in the world, to be a business owner and is a company that lives by the mantra “conformity kills originality.” Its approach to its workforce is open and collaborative, and as long as the work is done and you’re happy you can work when and where you like.

Shopify is currently hiring for a number of roles across product engineering, human resources and project management, with all staff able to take advantage of its generous health plan and annual allowance for charity or healthcare. Explore all vacant opportunities at Shopify.


Duolingo is the most downloaded education app in the world, and it’s hiring for a number of remote and hybrid roles. If you’re passionate about languages, education or tech — the roles across software engineering, corporate development and project management may be for you. DuoLingo is an established company with a startup mentality and an array of non-financial benefits for staff.

As well as the expected health care, family and parental leave, on-site chef and annual education stipend, DuoLingo also provides employees with a generous 401K contribution (with immediate vesting), mental health supports and equity opportunities. Explore all roles at DuoLingo. For plenty more job opportunities, explore the VentureBeat Job Board

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