Why Salary Stories Are Important — & So Fun To Read

designed by Ammiel Mendoza.
Arguably, one of the numbers we find most interesting about Money Diaries is learning about how much money women make in different professions across the country. And it seems our readers agree: We sometimes see women in similar professions benchmarking in the comments, whether it’s asking OPs how they got to that salary or suggesting that they should ask for more based on personal experience.
These days, it’s easy enough to find basic salary information through websites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn, but it can be hard to understand what those figures really mean without knowing the context of a person’s experience, level, and background. And despite all the hype around salary transparency on a company level, revealing how much you’re paid IRL with your family, friends, or colleagues is not the norm for most people.
That’s why we’re joining forces with Lauren McGoodwin, the founder of Career Contessa, a career site for millennial women, to take a deeper look at how women across the country have arrived at their current salaries.
Lauren, a former recruiter for Hulu, started an anonymous salary database last year and has since collected over 5,000 entries. The entries have come from women working in a variety of industries with varying levels of experience. So far, The Salary Project has revealed some interesting insights (which they explore in the Career Contessa blog): For example, Lauren has observed a senior consultant in Atlanta making the same amount of money as a construction manager in San Antonio. She also says she loves seeing that the highest paying jobs aren’t all finance and tech-related.
“You can make big bucks and work for a nonprofit,” she told us. “We have the proof!”
So, over the coming months, we’ll be partnering with Career Contessa to continue our Salary Story series — drawing from The Salary Project’s database. Our hope for the series and partnership is that it will help young women have a better understanding of how other people are navigating the complexities of negotiating, weathering job loss, and making career transitions so they can advocate for themselves — and maybe take a few risks along the way.
”Use both of these tools to create your own action plan for your career — and compensation,” she says. And share your own story with us at moneystories@refinery29.com!

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