Op-ed pick: Fight pay gap with public salaries

In a move surprising many in the media world, The New York Times fired Executive Editor Jill Abramson on Wednesday. There was long-standing tension between Ms. Abramson and Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of the paper and the chairman of The New York Times Company, but reports (such as this piece in The New Yorker) suggest that Ms. Abramson recently discovered she was making less than her predecessor and the resulting confrontation may have played a part in her dismissal.

It’s no secret that the pay gap still exists in many American companies, despite calls for reform. So what can actually be done about it? Max Nisen at Quartz suggests that making salaries public could help fight the problem – and he points out that some companies are already trying out this idea:

If pay secrecy is problematic, is radical transparency the answer? An increasing number of companies are trying out that idea, of releasing all salary information to the public. Buffer even publishes the formula it uses to calculate pay and stock options. The startup SumAll makes all compensation and its cap table freely available to employees.

It’s certainly a lot to ask of large, established companies – but the fallout from Abramson’s removal is certain to at least bring the pay gap topic back to the forefront of public discussion.

What do you think? Will transparency lead to more equal pay?

Read the Quartz piece here.