I’ve spent the week trying to help a coworker try to collect pay rates from venues around town so that we can efficiently argue for a raise at our own. A surprisingly large number of our colleagues declined to share any information about their pay at all. Luckily, one was all for pay transparency, and with his help, we were able to fill in most of the gaps we had.
I know that talking about pay has customarily been frowned on, but that needs to change. We can’t effectively make the case for better pay, whether at an individual venue or across the industry if we don’t know what each other are making. Those of us just starting out are more likely to be taken advantage of or lowballed if we don’t really know how to connect our pay to our experience. And, crucially for members of underrepresented demographics like me who are more likely to be underpaid anyway, we can’t see patterns in pay disparity if we don’t know what each other are making.