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Profitt Report: Survey says millennials more likely to openly discuss salary

Photo credit: MGN

Traditionally, discussing our salary with co-workers is considered taboo. However, young adults seem to be more willing to talk about their paychecks according to a survey by BankRate’s, the Cashelorette.

“I guess I can say that doesn’t come as a surprise to me,” said Nathan Breidinger, millennial himself, working as a financial advisor in the Saginaw area.

“Just look at their Facebook feeds, they’re just generally more comfortable with sharing what is traditionally more private information,” he said.

The Cashelorette’s survey said overall, 20 percent of people shared their salaries with colleagues, while 30 percent of millennials did.

“It is definitely very complicated,” said Judith Donahue, who speaks on the gender wage gap and is a member of the Midland branch of the American Association of University Women, or AAUW.

See, many view pay secrecy as part of the gender wage gap, or women being paid about 20 percent less than men. As the Cashelorette points out, it’s hard to fight for equal pay if you aren’t aware you’re being paid less.

“There are laws that are out there, Equal Pay 1963, the equal pay law passed by congress, but the problem with that is there's no enforcement. It's also up to the woman, if she feels it's discrimination, to bring it to attention and again you get back to the fear of women, if I bring it to the attention, what's going to happen to my job?” Donahue said.

Donahue said this is a tricky subject and you need to be aware of the culture you work in.

“You can talk with your human relations, HR department, and ask about salaries and the range of salaries, for instance, for your position,” Donahue said.

Asking for the range of salaries tied to your position is something Saginaw Valley State University Career Services Director Mike Major encourages.

“You really have to be careful and look at the job classification and responsibilities. You or your colleague may have a special skillset the other does not. If that exists, the company may compensate with more,” he said.

He points out resources online: Glass Door, Pay Scale and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These sources will help you determine how much someone in your position should be paid.

“The key to earning more money is not to go in and say, ‘I deserve more money,’ it's to have a track record of superior performance in your position. To come in and say, ‘I’ve really done a great job in this position, is there additional room for more pay?’” Major said.

Breidinger agrees to proving your performance and he points out, the Saginaw Young Professionals Network offers workshops to help young adults advance in the office.

“To come and learn about a topic, emotional intelligence is an example, how to communicate among generations,” Breidinger said.

The Profitt Report wants to hear from you - please send consumer questions and story ideas to ProfittReport@WSMH.com

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