Thousands of workers’ salaries revealed
A spreadsheet documenting the salaries of media workers from across the globe has gone viral in a bid to end the "taboo" around pay.
So far, thousands of employees have anonymously reported their wages, job descriptions, locations and personal details - including at least two Australians.
"Talking about how much or how little money you make feels taboo, and it shouldn't," the Real Media Salaries spreadsheet states.
"Knowledge is power and (job review website) Glassdoor info is hit or miss. Wouldn't it be great to know what your peers make so you can use that to leverage a raise? Or if your company does a 'market adjustment' yet you don't see the data, wouldn't it be great to know how accurate it is or isn't?
"So, let's share what we make and any relevant info to help each other learn our worth."
The spreadsheet allows staff in the media industry to self report their earnings along with their work title, company name, years of experience, race, gender, location and duties.
Employee data from major companies such as The Washington Post, New York Times, National Geographic and CNN are on the list, alongside WIN News Australia and Seven West Media.
However, the spreadsheet has proven controversial, as the details provided have not been verified and there is no way to know whether respondents are telling the truth.
Some bosses have even taken to social media to claim the information included about their companies is incorrect.
Guys, this is ridiculous and not even close to fact. Why are you publishing it @CJR? I know you said it isn't verified but don't you have a responsibility to try to verify what you publish?https://t.co/xIR2KvRYf1— Jessica Lessin (@Jessicalessin) 13 November 2019
The spreadsheet was the brainchild of Sarah Koobs, who works for a product review website called the Wirecutter.
The 29-year-old said she was inspired to make the conversation go global after her colleagues had begun discussing their own salaries recently.
She created the document after visiting online job review site Glassdoor - which also allows workers to anonymously share their salaries - and discovering someone at her organisation with a similar job description made far more than she did.
"I started thinking what is an industry-standard salary when I thought mine was," she told The Washington Post.
"So I thought it would helpful to have a resource like this, so people who make more could help those who make less."
"The point of this isn't collective whining, it's collective bargaining. I think this is helpful for people starting out in the field, when you don't know what you should make and you're excited to do what you love, so you take what you get offered without really knowing what's fair."