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Sometimes ignorance is leverage. A few years back, when I made the switch from one media company to another, it was precisely the lack of transparency about my salary that allowed me to more than double my salary in the process.
Recently, there has been a push by some major digital-based companies towards salary transparency. The current thinking―one that is very much based on the ethos of Internet that the more we know, the better―is that open books will result in an even the playing field.
Cahn took her model from her former employer, Google, where she was head of sales and saw the benefits of the open system there. Google didn’t publish individual salaries, but made ranges for roles public, so that employees had a solid sense of exactly where they stood in the company: “Everyone had their levels and tangible steps how to get there.”