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These Companies Rank Highly for Partial Pay Transparency

Although they don't disclose pay completely, employees said these companies are more open about it than others

whispering secret

Diana Pressey is a senior advertising/public relations major at UNC-Chapel Hill. She's also a campaigns team lead at the 1893 Brand Studio. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing, dancing badly at concerts, belly laughing, and hanging out with other people’s pets.

Never ask someone how much they make. This rule is one many Americans heard as kids, and whether because of our conservative Moms and Dads or because of our society’s attitude toward money in general, that secrecy surrounding salary has become a part of American company culture.

Yet although talking salary has long been stigmatized, lately, millennials have begun chipping away at that practice, and several companies are taking note. In a move toward pay transparency, progressive businesses have started openly sharing salary information with employees, something research indicates can help bridge the gender pay gap. (Conversely, pay secrecy, actually harms productivity. So, thanks for that pro tip, Mom and Dad.)

While few companies have full pay transparency in the U.S., partial pay transparency is a lot more prevalent. Companies with partial pay transparency don’t disclose all employee salary numbers. Instead, they provide varying degrees of compensation information to employees. Pay ranges for these companies are often available on websites such as Glassdoor or in job descriptions. Management might also communicate to employees how they make compensation decisions so that if employees find out about pay disparity, they understand the reasoning behind it.

Some companies practicing partial pay transparency rank higher than others because they're doing more to achieve more transparency. Cloud-based compensation software company PayScale rates companies' pay transparency based on five levels, ranging from organizations that just provide paychecks to employees to organizations that share all compensation information. A compensation plan or management training might also shift their transparency rating.

Once rated, PayScale gives “Hero Awards” to the organizations whose employees (more than 40 percent of them) rate them as highly transparent. Check out the top seven companies on their list, and their starred ratings on InHerSight:

1. ALDI (2.9 stars)

85 percent of employees rated highly transparent

ALDI is a discount grocery chain that originated in Germany. Its American headquarters are located in Batavia, Illinois, and it has over 10,000 employees. Check here for employment opportunities.

2. McKinsey & Co (3.4 stars)

70 percent of employees rated highly transparent

McKinsey & Co is a management consulting firm that specializes in research. It’s based in New York City with over 127 locations nationally and almost 30,000 employees. Click here for jobs at McKinsey & Co.

3. Sanderson Farms (2.2 stars)

70 percent of employees rated highly transparent

The third-largest poultry producer in the U.S., Sanderson Farms has 14,000 employees in farming, shipping, and offices. It’s based in Laurel, Mississippi. View open positions here.

4. Trader Joe’s (3.2 stars)

69 percent of employees rated highly transparent

Trader Joe’s is a fresh-format grocery store chain headquartered in Monrovia, California. It has over 38,000 employees. Click here to check out job opportunities.

5. FedEx Freight (2.7 stars)

64 percent of employees rated highly transparent

FedEx Freight has 5,000 to 10,000 employees that provide less-than-truckload shipping (small freight) to all of North America. Its headquarters are in Memphis, Tennessee. Find job opportunities here.

6. Texas Roadhouse (2.9 stars)

61 percent of employees rated highly transparent

Texas Roadhouse is a Western-themed chain of steakhouses. The company has 52,500 employees and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. Check out job openings here.

7. CMA CGM (2.6 stars)

60 percent of employees rated highly transparent

CMA CGM is a top international transportation and shipping company that originated in France. Its American headquarters is in Norfolk, Virginia. It has 37,000 employees. Look here for employment opportunities. 

So What? 

If there’s no pay transparency, there’s no way for women to know whether their male coworkers with the same qualifications and responsibilities are being paid more than them. Pay transparency is one of the first steps to pay equity. 

Unfortunately, without a full company audit, it is not possible to tell whether the high transparency of these companies has led to more equal pay. But it’s certainly a strong start.

This article is part of InHerSight’s month-long coverage of equal pay. Timed with Equal Pay Day, the series looks at how the pay gap affects women of all backgrounds and in all industries.

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