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Gen-Z and millennial workers are openly discussing their salaries | Money Smart

Younger workers are breaking a long-standing workplace taboo and openly discussing their salaries.

LANCASTER, Pa. — Younger workers are breaking a long-standing workplace taboo and openly discussing their salaries with coworkers and other industry professionals, a new survey from Bankrate finds.

According to the survey, 42% of Gen Z workers (ages 18 to 25) and 40% of millennial workers (ages 26 to 41) have shared their salary information with coworkers, compared to 31% of Gen Xers and 19% of baby boomers.

Financial analyst from Bankrate, Sarah Foster, isn't surprised by these numbers.

"The younger you are, the more likely you are to be open about how much money you're making...because really, the only way to know that you're underpaid is by checking it out and talking with people," she said. 

The reasoning behind the open discussions, Foster said is that, "all of these younger workers are living through decreased wealth opportunities."

"Millennials for instance hold about 6% of the nation's wealth as compared to baby boomers who held 22% when they were the same age," she said. 

However, that transparency can come with downsides.

"Going around and talking about money is probably not something you want to do with everyone," Foster noted. "Another downside too, is the potential awkwardness, especially when you realize that you're underpaid compared to a coworker or making more than a coworker."

At the end of the day, when it comes to how that fiscal knowledge can play a part in job negotiations, Foster said younger generations still need to do their homework.

"I think what it really comes down to is having as much data as possible," she said. "That way when you do go into a negotiation...you're better equipped with more information that hopefully you can use to base your ask on."

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