How to Do Salary Transparency Right

Even normally confident people can balk at asking for raises. It's always important to remember that you deserve to get paid what your labor is worth. Easier said than done, of course — but with one fact in your pocket, you could make a stronger argument to your boss and to yourself.

One of the great taboos of the workplace is discussing your salary with other workers. But as BuzzFeed writer Anne Helen Petersen points out, there's not actually much of a reason for that. "Which just reminds me how many social taboos are developed (and perpetuated) in order to protect profits/capital," she writes, right after sharing an excellent blog post on that very topic.

Kelsey Miller, writing for A Cup of Jo, breaks down a good approach to asking co-workers to share their salaries. Surprisingly, she finds that salary transparency benefits employers too: "Studies show it makes people more motivated and productive, and less likely to quit. It fosters a sense of openness and honesty between employees and employers, boosting morale and increasing job satisfaction."

There are all kinds of reasons to be nervous about divulging your paycheck, some of them institutional. That said, if your employer has ever told you not to discuss your salary with colleagues because it could draw retaliation, be aware that that's illegal. Do a search for "pay secrecy" and you'll find lots of resources backing you up. Read Miller's post, and then do your homework about asking for the right raise for you. As Miller writes, "If we think pay inequity is a problem, then maybe it's time to take a deep breath and sit down for a chat."