Pay transparency and working from home: navigate the changing work world with Wall Street Journal’s ‘As We Work’

Business April 9, 2022
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Listen to ‘As We Work’

The workplace is changing as all things are bound to. From the Big Quit (or the Great Resignation, whichever you prefer), to working from home, to prioritizing mental health in the workplace, to the push and pull for pay transparency, “As We Work” is digging into it all. Tess Vigeland is speaking to people who reclaimed their worth, people who have made changes in their work life, and experts about which changes are temporary and which are here to stay. And of course, she’ll be sharing tips on how to navigate these paradigm shifts.

“As We Work” is a new podcast from the Wall Street Journal, its first episode premiering in March of this year. New episodes are released on Tuesdays and are just half an hour long.

Pay transparency is going viral

Tess and her guests are talking about some of the biggest buzzwords in the shifting workplace. She’s looking at how work relationships are being formed in this new hybrid work age and seeing what businesses, CEOs, and managers can do to help their team members avoid burnout. But there is no bigger buzzword right now than pay transparency.

As Tess tells us, several states and cities are passing pay transparency laws that are toppling the negotiation game between employee and employer. Some employees aren’t even waiting for for legislation to be passed, though, publicly posting their salaries and former salaries to let people know how much they should be making in the same position.

Tess speaks with Victoria Walker, a writer who broke the internet when she shared her salary on Twitter when leaving her job as a senior reporter. Her tweet read “Oh! Before I forget — if you apply for my old job as Senior Travel Reporter, you should ask for no less than $115,000, a signing bonus & a relocation bonus if you’re moving to NYC. In full transparency, I was at $107,000. I believe being transparent is one way to achieve equity in media.”

The tweet went viral within 24 hours, garnering tens of thousands of likes and retweets. But that wasn’t the point of the tweet. As she tells Tess on this episode of “As We Work,” she simply wanted that whoever applied for her old job and received an offer from the company to know what they are worth. It’s plain to see in her comments, though, that she had opened a Pandora’s Box on pay transparency.

She received many negative comments, proving that talking about our salaries is still taboo in America, but she also received overwhelming support about being so open. She heard from people who felt compelled to speak to their co-workers about their salaries, people who were inspired to finally ask for that long-deserved raise, and more.

The two also talk about the differences between generations when it comes to knowing what someone makes: older generations are far more conservative when it comes to sharing salaries whereas younger people are far more open about pay. Tess also tells us that pay transparency is a solution to fixing the pay gap between men and women, as well as white women and women of color.

She also speaks with professor of sociology Jake Rosenfeld, who researches the political and economic determinants of inequality, particularly in wages and salaries. They discuss the “myths” of the modern economy — Rosenfeld explains the “pay for performance” model, why it does not hold up today, valuing finding meaning in your work or earning more money, and much more.

Other episodes of “As We Work” have honed in on broader subjects like how the COVID-19 pandemic changed work and the future of work, how the pandemic pushed women to rethink their career path on the corporate ladder, and changing company culture. Tess talks about maintaining work relationships while working from home, the “pandemic flux syndrome,” and reevaluating our relationships with our jobs.

Be sure to check out “As We Work” to hear open conversations about the evolving workforce.

Listen to ‘As We Work’

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