Taylor Poindexter had been working as a software engineer for about a decade when she began amassing a dataset of salary information from other people in the industry last year. “I thought I was well-paid until I started talking to my peers,” says Poindexter, who in 2016 helped found the Black Code Collective, a community for software engineers of color. “I realized that, as a woman and a person of color, maybe I’m not as well-paid as I could be.”
Online tools such as Glassdoor Inc. are designed to show people how much they can make at a given job, but Poindexter says she thought she could get better data on her own. She reached out to people she knew and posted publicly on Twitter, asking engineers to send her information about their compensation.
Over several months she collected thousands of responses, which she anonymized, added to a spreadsheet, and started sharing. A friend organized the figures into an array of charts and graphics, arranged by city, specialty, experience level, and size of organization. The numbers show, for example, that most respondents were commanding salaries well over $100,000 a year, that people in larger companies tend to be paid higher average salaries than those in smaller ones, and that for many people, pay levels out after about a decade of work.
Exercises such as Poindexter’s are unfolding in one way or another across the technology industry, which, for all its rhetoric about the power of shared data, is often hostile to the idea of open discussions about how much employees make.
61% Share of tech workers who say management or HR has discouraged them from discussing their compensation with other employees
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
A Pharaoh Goes to Oxford
The star of the opera Akhnaten takes his role so seriously, he’s been offered a fellowship in Egyptology
Shanghai's Black Eye
Expats are ditching the city, jeopardizing efforts to turn it into a top financial hub in Asia
The Best A Man Can Get?
To be more relevant to younger consumers, Gillette introduced a retro line of men’s grooming products and teamed up with Bugatti on a $170 razor. The strategy seems to have pulled the company out of a, uh, hairy situation
Shaina Taub, writer and composer of the off-Broadway hit Suffs, takes on The Devil Wears Prada—with some help from Elton John
The End of China's Bulk-Buying Boom
A distinctive form of e-commerce is in free fall after a shift in attitude in Beijing
FOR A MEASURE OF JUST HOW FED UP AMERICAN WORKERS ARE, LOOK TO STARBUCKS, WHERE BARISTAS ARE UNIONIZING ALA PACE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN UNIMAGINABLE A YEAR AGO AND INSPIRING SIMILAR ACTIVISM ELSEWHERE
Wall Street Comes to Nashville
AllianceBernstein relocated 1,000 jobs in an effort to save $80 million a year
Why Land Is Key to Brazil's Presidency
Lagging Lula in polls, Bolsonaro is wooing rural voters by giving squatters title to their farms
Democrats' Inflation Anguish
Legislators are appealing to the White House to "do more" to contain prices
But What If There Aren't Plenty Of Fish in the Sea?
Investors say Forever Oceans’ technology will help build a new kind of marine farm