It’s no secret that women and folks of color get paid at lower rates, on average, than non-women / white counterparts: it’s called the Pay Gap and there are so many data points and US articles, EU articles, socialist feminist articles, so many books, and lots of memes about it.
“In the United States, according to an estimate published by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the wage gap will not close at this rate until 2058, which is another generation away for women of today.” –
That means: equal pay parity is not expected for DECADES, and of course, the timelines are longer for women of color, and there is little to no data on LGBTQ folks.
Oh, no. We don’t play that long game if we can help it.
So, what can I do about the pay gap?
For one, find out what other people get paid at their jobs and advocate for yourself and others doing the same job to be paid equally (or bill equal rates, if you’re in a position to determine your pricing.)
How do you find this out? Enter: Salary Guides (scroll down for ’em!)
Luckily some crafty folks are putting the information out there, creating a salary transparency that can serve to get data you need to advocate for equal pay. Because are we likely to just get GIVEN the raises we deserve? Friends: unfortunately, no. We have to ask. So — GET YOUR RESEARCH ON AND ASK.
Some of these Salary Guides are made by orgs, and some are self-directed spreadsheets made by folks in various industries hoping that sharing salaries can help others be paid fairly. Enjoy learning!
Super Current Salary Guides
- Aquent 2019 – Digital Jobs Salary Guide (PDF) – https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IzeIimHESE1bxhVmI2Hw22Oy5ymo6rjU
- Media jobs 2019/current, [folks submit their real salaries]: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/1/d/1SP3Sqqdv6R8chFamjtgdNlOrUar-hJXvkMSeha2mHQ8/htmlview?sle=true#gid=1665107219
- Career Contessa database 2019/current (sign in to submit and view, [folks submit their real salaries]) – https://www.careercontessa.com/the-salary-project/splash/
- UX writer salary survey: https://uxwriterscollective.com/how-much-do-ux-writers-make-salary-survey-revealed/
- Designer open salaries 2019/current (Global, [folks submit their real salaries]): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZK3x80Nt2J0fCMpyJB8Z5_v9tJx4M9OWm2o7GGk38Vc/edit?usp=drive_web&ouid=117966471419090939621
Older than “super current” Salary Guides:
- 2017 Nonprofit data: https://www.tsne.org/salary-data
- 2018 Guidestar Nonprofit Comp report (partial, 2017 data) https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1kl7bTmQApxNGxoTHdLeXVhMVVnT2pPTGRGZlJ4QmZBbDlZ
- 2019 NEA report on Artist and Cultural Workers’ income (2016 data): https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/Artists_and_Other_Cultural_Workers.pdf
- 2014 Artists Report Back (2012 data on artist salaries): http://bfamfaphd.com/#topic-reports
A modest request: getting paid as much as someone who’s less good at their work as I am at the same work.
Even and when that means I have to ask for it.
Now, 1:1 advocacy for equal pay and individuals raising their rates and billing as much as *ahem* potentially less qualified counterparts is not the only solution to ending the pay gap — but equal pay is not going to be handed to us on a silver platter by some policy change, either. The 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would have been it but… the clock ticks pals.
We need to advocate for each other and ourselves, and if needed start our own businesses where we bill clients fairly at market rates and pay each other equally. We need to argue for fair pay for everyone, for every job. We have to be willing to pay fairly so companies can pay fairly (when we can) and bill for it to the clients who are able so we can slide our rate scales when it supports justice.