Pay transparency is remarkably opaque
How much are you worth?
Asking for money is one of the more uncomfortable things in life. And studies have found that women typically ask for less than men. One particular study -- Why do women ask for less? -- suggests that women and men "differ in their beliefs about what constitutes a reasonable request."
I read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (former COO of Facebook) years ago. She wrote about women forcing their way into a seat at the table and negotiating what they're worth. After reading the book, I tried. I asked for a raise at work. I continued to demand more money when I was given additional responsibilities -- to the point that I irritated the CEO who thought I was asking for too much. Even though my salary was still disproportionate to some of the tenured men at the company. I wasn't asking too much, but he wasn't used to people asking.
But I was operating at an advantage: My role at the company meant that I knew everyone's salaries. When I left and started over in my career, I was at a significant disadvantage. The first salary I was offered was incredibly low. I took it, because I was told that the salaries were banded and I was coming in at one of the lowest levels since I didn't have any prior experience. I later found out that another employee (a man), had stated that he couldn't work for the salary offered. So he was placed in a higher band and paid what he demanded.
The only way we can change our perception of "reasonable amount" is with knowledge. And the only way that can happen is for people to talk about money.