We explore why talking about money is the last taboo at work — and the possible pitfalls of being open about salaries

Chances are, not even your best friend knows how much you earn at work. In this episode, Isabel tries to work out what we are worried about - surely salary secrecy only helps our bosses? She talks to Joel Gascoigne, chief executive of social media business Buffer, which publishes its employees’ salaries on its website - including that of Joel himself [$290k]. He thinks radical transparency helps with all sorts of potentially difficult issues at work. Isabel also talks to Brooke Masters, the FT’s chief business commentator and an expert on CEO pay. Brooke thinks there are often good reasons for secrecy: when companies are forced to be open about top leaders’ pay, CEOs can compare themselves to people leading other organisations and demand even higher salaries. 

Isabel and Brooke also talk about how the rest of us can negotiate a pay rise. To do that, it may help to know what your colleagues are paid ...

We love to hear from you: email us at workingit@ft.com or Isabel directly at isabel.berwick@ft.com. Follow @isabelberwick on Twitter or Instagram.

Mentioned in the podcast: 

See how much everyone is paid at Buffer https://buffer.com/salaries

Brooke Masters’ column on CEO pay in the pandemic https://www-ft-com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/content/0676c6f6-1ad2-490d-b8cf-d3bccdb76182

Want to get a pay rise? Here’s how https://www-ft-com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/content/967db31f-f49b-4039-a295-23db588d2a1c

Listen to Claer Barrett’s #MoneyClinic podcast on getting a pay rise https://link.chtbl.com/K3vLw7lV

National Bureau of Economic Research - the wider effects of pay transparency https://www-nber-org.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/papers/w28903

Presented by Isabel Berwick. Editorial direction from Renée Kaplan. Assistant producer is Persis Love. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music. Produced by Novel.

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