I’m really excited to be launching Payspective. Pay has been an extremely opaque area for too long. Adding transparency to what we all get paid is not just about vital information for key life decisions, it’s also critical to give us all some perspective. Hopefully, in the long-term, this transparency will also be able to play its own part in removing inequalities.


The Payspective history


This is not the first pay survey to have been launched. In fact, the market is rather flooded with them. The issue I’ve always had is that the surveys I’ve completed weren’t comparing me to the right people. Time and time again, they were comparing the same “job title”, or a hugely broad industry. They didn’t look at how things progressed over time, or how I compared to my actual peers (my university peers; people who I started work with, etc). On top of that, there seems to be very little effective use of data. Most existing surveys seem to have taken a”self-serve” approach: go and have a look at our results and see what you think.


Why we launched Payspective


(1) Decision making:

Your pay has a huge impact on your life. Yet, when we’re discussing pay rises/negotiating an offer, there’s absolutely no decent information to use. We often have a few anecdotes from friends, but I’ve never been able to point to a decent bit of data to justify a pay rise. Instead, it always feels like you’re having to defend your value (and it’s hard to not come across greedy!). We want people to be able to bring facts to these conversations.

I like to compare this to buying a house. Without something like Zoopla, you’re basically going on what you’re told (often by people whose incentives aren’t aligned to yours). Zoopla helps bring transparency to the housing market, and thus also facts on which to base your decision. We want to do the same to pay.

Equally, for employers, to be able to know what you should be paying your team is critical. Given the importance of retaining great talent, you want to know if you’re not paying your best talent the right amount!

(2) Perspective:

I remember a great quote I once heard: “it’s not about what you earn; it’s about how you spend it”. I couldn’t agree more. I think if all of us stepped back for a second, and looked at what we wanted in life, we wouldn’t worry quite so much about pay. However, when you have no idea what everyone gets paid, you only tend to hear the voices of the “loudest”. You know who I mean, the people who like to talk regularly about their most recent bonus. Whilst I’m pretty sure they aren’t representative, it would be great to know for sure!

More widely, we want people to have a bit of global perspective. It’s uncomfortable to think, whilst we’re comparing our annual salaries, that there are billions of people living below the poverty line. You’ll hopefully notice a few charities on the site – each picked by one of the team. We want to ensure people don’t forget the bigger picture.

(3) Inequality and social change:

On the topic of perspective, there’s a longer term aim for Payspective that we would love to play any part in. Data and transparency are often the best drivers of change. If there’s ever a market that needs change, it’s pay. The inequalities, and prejudices these are based on, are too long to list here. However, it would be great if perspective could help, in any small way, in beginning to remove inequalities in pay between different genders and ethnic groups.

If you like where we’re heading, and want to be a part of Payspective, just get started here.

by Nick

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