Proposed: Social Pact for Pay Transparency: Making a Difference Together

editorial + opinion ethics bias + integrity salary negotiation + research Mar 20, 2023
A robot with lots of money (paper cash and coins) in the background.

TLDR: The Social Pact for Pay Transparency encourages individuals to politely ask for salary information when encountering job posts without disclosed pay. This collective effort promotes fairness, combats pay disparities in various fields like data science, and supports a more transparent and equitable job market for all.


In today's fast-paced and ever-evolving job market, job seekers expect transparency from potential employers. Despite the shifting mindset towards a more open culture, some companies have yet to get with the times, often leaving job candidates in the dark about pay rates. I have and will continue to discuss the importance of pay transparency. Here I propose a social pact to promote open communication about pay in the job market. By making small, collective efforts, we can contribute to significant change and drive systemic improvements in workplace fairness. Margaret Mead made this a popular idea - she was thinking ahead about data science?

The Shift Towards Pay Transparency

Pay transparency is not a new concept, but it has gained momentum in recent years as companies increasingly recognize the benefits of being open about their compensation policies. A transparent pay structure promotes fairness, fosters trust between employers and employees, and reduces the potential for pay discrimination based on gender, race, or other factors. Despite these benefits, some companies still fail to disclose pay information on job ads, which leaves job seekers guessing and potentially undervaluing their worth.

Why This Matters For Data Science

As a professional in data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics, it's crucial to understand why pay transparency matters in our field. Firstly, the tech industry has long been plagued with gender and race-related pay disparities, which negatively impact workplace diversity and inclusivity. By promoting pay transparency, we can actively combat these disparities and create a fairer environment for all professionals in the field.

Transparent pay, achieved by disclosing anticipated salaries in job descriptions, is one of the most effective ways to fight pay disparities. When companies share salary information upfront, it levels the playing field and ensures that candidates from all backgrounds can negotiate their worth without fear of discrimination. Moreover, sharing pay information eliminates the need for candidates to rely on potentially biased information from personal networks or online sources, which may not accurately represent the entire industry.

Furthermore, the pay information in job descriptions serves as valuable compensation intelligence that is equally accessible to everyone. This transparency empowers data science professionals to benchmark their salaries against industry standards and make more informed decisions about their career progression. In turn, this knowledge fosters healthy competition among companies, which can lead to more equitable pay structures and improved working conditions for data scientists and other tech professionals.

The Social Pact for Pay Transparency

To address this issue and support the shift towards pay transparency, I propose a social pact that anyone can participate in. When you come across a job post on social media or any platform where the pay is not disclosed simply comment on their post and politely ask them to share the pay information. When the person posting isn't the hiring manager - ask if they know the hiring manager - ask if they can contact the hiring manager and get the information - and ask if they can then post it as an update. This honest, friendly, open, direct, and transparent action can go a long way in encouraging employers to be more transparent about their compensation policies.

Plus you'll be making the world a better place. Go you! Go us!

As a job seeker or concerned individual, you might worry about the consequences of asking for pay information, fearing that it may come across as impolite or inappropriate. However, remember that there's no good reason for this information to be kept a secret. Well the "reason" is to further inequitable compensation practices - let's be honest.

Pay is an essential aspect of the job that affects both parties, and sharing it openly allows potential candidates to make informed decisions. As sharing pay gets more popular, if a hiring manager or recruiter chooses not to share the pay information, it reflects poorly on their employer and serves as a red flag for prospective employees.

The Power of Collective Action

Small actions by a large number of people can make a significant impact. Wait.

Q: What does that remind you of?

A: Data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics (my fav team sports).

This collective strategy will be especially effective when paired with broader systemic changes like pay transparency legislation and company policy updates. As more individuals participate in this social pact, the pressure on companies to disclose pay information will increase, ultimately contributing to a fairer and more equitable job market. This collective effort can also empower job seekers to negotiate their worth and reduce the pay gaps that persist in many industries.

Collaborating with Other Initiatives

To enhance the effectiveness of this social pact, it is essential to collaborate with other initiatives and movements that promote pay transparency. By supporting legislation that mandates pay transparency or advocating for company policies that require disclosing pay information in job ads, we can contribute to creating a more equitable work environment for all.


The social pact for pay transparency idea is a simple yet powerful way to promote a fair and transparent job market. By taking small, collective actions and supporting broader systemic changes, we can contribute to a culture of openness and fairness that benefits everyone. So the next time you come across a job ad without pay information, don't hesitate to ask the hiring manager or recruiter to share it. Your action might just be the catalyst for change that leads to a more transparent and equitable job market for all.

Who else is on board here?

Learn Data Science For Free. Now Offering Live Free Online Data Science Lessons.


Get You're Free Lesson Here