#KnowYourWorth tries to lift the veil on pay inequity in tech

It may be one of the most awkward questions around the watercooler, but it’s also one of the most important: How much do you make? More workers are asking, and the tech industry is no exception. The debate popped up again last week thanks to the Twitter hashtag #KnowYourWorth. It started with a Slack employee […]


February 18, 2020

It may be one of the most awkward questions around the watercooler, but it’s also one of the most important: How much do you make?

More workers are asking, and the tech industry is no exception. The debate popped up again last week thanks to the Twitter hashtag #KnowYourWorth.

It started with a Slack employee

Zac Sweers lit the with a tweet: “Pay inequality is a big problem in tech,” he wrote, “especially for underrepresented groups like women and minorities. The best way you can help is by sharing yours. I’ll go first.” 

“$205k base, $500k equity over 4 yrs,” he continued, filling in other deets like his education, location, and experience.

The discussion went viral — someone even launched a project on Product Hunt to collect and sort the #KnowYourWorth tweets.

Here’s the trouble: There’s no such thing as perfect data

Some critics said the discussion had a few flaws:

  • First, your “worth” is about more than just your compensation. It’s more like #KnowYourMarketValue.
  • For some people, the exercise looked like men in big cities bragging about the size of their… paychecks.
  • The discussion also focused on software developers and engineers — not, say, the contract workers who support our app economy.

But some info might still be better than no info

Sweers called the conversation a “net positive.” It can help some people, he said — especially if you notice that workers in the same city with the same experience get paid a lot more than you do for the same work.

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