Do you talk to your coworkers about how much everyone makes?

March 15 is Equal Pay Day. According to, men, on average, are set to earn over $10k more than women this year all across the U.S. Simply put, that’s messed up – equal work should demand equal pay, right?

I’ve experienced instances of this firsthand at previous jobs– male workers (myself included) making significantly more than their non-male counterparts. I only learned of the pay discrepancies after sharing how much I made with a few trusted coworkers (none of us work there anymore, by the way). The thing is, it’s such a faux pas for coworkers to share how much they make with one another, even if they have the same job title and work responsibilities.

Anyway, here’s to equal pay for equal work and to seeing the very real pay gap between genders disappearing all together.


I don’t talk to the guys at work about pay, but I have briefly discussed certain positions with a few coworkers due to the possibility that I would transfer to that position. Technically I know what everyone in the company is supposed to be paid. They send out wage determination sheets every year so everyone can see. Some people don’t fall into their listed positions so they can make more or less for that title though. Sadly I’m in the less category.

It’s… frustrating when I’m making barely $17 an hour at a company I’ve technically been with for 6 years-- while I could apply at a retail or fast food chain & start around $15… Given the workload I have & the commute, sometimes it’s super tempting. It kind of feels hopeless being a woman trying to support a family. I just can’t seem to make enough. (Finding jobs is also super hard where I’m at- which is basically a rural, conservative area. I’ve been looking for a year with no luck.)

I was always taught that technically you’re not supposed to discuss pay at work, but I think open communication is the first step to closing that gap. I hope to see that gap disappear in my lifetime for sure.


Great question.

When I was working it was like an underground movement where pay/hr was whispered about, then it began to come out into the open. This was a good thing. It brought out the fact that the manager was intentionally having us work short and was pocketing the benefits of any extra $. HR finally caught onto her and she then found herself working pt and having a lot less control of the dept. She’s out the door now.

What had happened to cause this event was the new hires were making more than the people who had been working there for years, who had the pleasure of training them. The management raised the lower end of the pay scale and kept the upper end the same, some of us who had been there for many years were disgusted and sent a signed letter that eventually went to HR. We got the pay raise, but they also raised the lower end a 2nd time.

Pay is now talked about, not as openly as it could be because there are many levels and subtleties of the pay grades.


i work part time as a lunch room monitor at school i have been there 20 years and i make 14.70 a hour the new girls come in at 12.00 dollars a hour, we laugh and joke about it, because some fast foods make 15,00 dollars a hour


I work in a female dominated field- Human Services. I am a Social Worker at a Housing Authority in NH. While we all do not always talk exact wages, we do know ‘about’ what others make and there is often discussion of pay scale. Other than the maintenance team, there are very few men in my agency. I had a partner in my position and she made more, but she had been there longer, and that seemed fair to me!
With the exception of my first job in 1995 in Texas, I do not believe that I have been paid less than my male co-workers, for the same job.


Exactly! I feel like, having an open conversation with “close friends & coworkers” makes more sense. You might be missing out on somethings - and you just need to be told to be able to get in!

1 Like

I just tell most people that I am one of the highest-paid employees. A select few I’ll tell them exactly what I earn. I’ve been there for over 20 years.