There is a hiring practice in the nonprofit sector that needs to be banished forever: keeping salaries a secret.
Nontransparent salaries service an underlying power-dynamic, putting the one hiring into a position of control, knowledge, and power over the person applying. This is a tactic rooted in white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism—and it must end.
Job descriptions get posted with phrases like “dependent on experience” or “dependent on qualifications,” even though that criteria perpetuates discrimination and financial inequity, especially among professionals of color and womxn.
As a media arts organization with an underlying mission to advance social justice, we have a responsibility to enact practices that dismantle these inequitable and discriminatory practices.
Beginning on July 21, 2020, all jobs posted to Pollen’s opportunities board will require compensation information. Please read this joint statement from Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Pollen, and Springboard for the Arts about this important policy change.
Why Salary Transparency Is Important
As we make this move towards transparency, it is informed by the research and the experiences of our sector. Wage transparency is critical for our collective future because:
- Being transparent about compensation is one way organizations can address discriminatory and inequitable workplace practices, thereby putting an end to perpetuating harm against the communities and people they serve.
- Wage transparency reduces the gender pay gap by 7%. When job listings include a clear range, it eliminates the need to negotiate — a practice that rewards white men but punishes people of color and womxn.
- Including compensation information helps organizations recruit and retain talent. When candidates see that organizations are committed to wage transparency, it demonstrates an organization’s values in action.
- Applying for jobs is time-consuming. Candidates meet for informational interviews, tailor their cover letters and resumes, tap their networks for connections, follow up with the hiring manager and, if they’re lucky, participate in multiple interviews. To invest all that time into an opportunity and organization only to learn at the end of the process that the compensation is well below what they can accept is demoralizing and a waste of time for all involved. Organizations need to respect candidates’ time and be forthcoming with compensation information from the start. Hiring committees also benefit from transparency: It’s frustrating to invest time in a candidate who can’t afford to take the job.
- When employees feel valued and are compensated fairly, they are more motivated, productive, and collaborative.
Let’s all do our part to put an end to this discriminatory and inequitable practice. Include compensation in your job listings. And if your organization is against this kind of transparency, check out the resources below for talking points and data about why it’s important.
Salary Transparency Advocacy Resources
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Salary Survey
W.A.G.E. guide & fee calculator for visual art work
The New York Times on closing the pay gap and salary transparency
Nonprofit AF on the importance of salary transparency
Team Dynamics BEHAVE podcast on hiring
Fractured Atlas on pay transparency and anti-racism
Art by Mónica Nadal and Kiani Burkett