Design

Have a Lovely Weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? We are taking the boys out for Ethiopian food in our neighborhood. (Alex took them last month, and they loved it.) How delicious is the spongey injera bread? Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

10 celebrities who braved the red carpet without makeup.

Is it okay to ask my co-workers about their salaries?” (What do you think?)

I saw a woman wearing this in a café the other day, and it was gorgeous in person.

Materials I’d rather be than wife material.

Goddamn, people are amazing.

Things that go together.

I am an (older) woman. Hear me roar. “I can assure you I did not like — in fact I flinched — when The Times wrote about my new company, and there it was in black and white, ‘Christiane Amanpour, 60,’” said Ms. Amanpour, who replaced Mr. Rose on PBS last year and turns 61 this week. “But then I thought, no, this is cool! I’m 60 and a whole other chapter of my life is opening.’” (New York Times)

I’m really enjoying this book (and its great cover).

One meal, three ways.

This top wedding photo made me teary.

Mille has such beautiful pieces, and they’re offering 30% off everything but new arrivals.

Plus, two reader comments:

Says Michelle on soup groups: “Am I the only one who loves winter? I feel like I survive summer. But man, what else makes you feel more awake (more alive?) than a bite of cold air? More hopeful than the smell of snow in the air? And winter gives me all the excuses to be the homebody I am — yes to soup! And to big cozy blankets, mugs of hot beverages, slowing down and staying in with my favorite people.”

Says Megan on middle names: “I always liked the sound of Rae as a middle name for a daughter, and had this name in mind for 10 years before I became a mom. I actually adopted my daughter through foster care, and although I knew her first and last names, it wasn’t until about a month into fostering her that I learned from her social worker what her birth mom had given as her middle name: Rae.”

(Cookie photo, made using this recipe, by Ella Quittner, via Food52.)

  1. Mel says...

    I was surprised by how strongly the feelings of “horror and amazement” struck me after reading E. Jean’s response to the question on salary transparency, so I took the weekend to reflect on this issue and my emotional response. When I came to share my thoughts just now, I feel so heartened and relieved to see many others in the CoJ community have already beaten me to do it.

    Just to add my two cents – As a young professional woman of color (working in the traditional world of biotech), I’ve personally seen time and again how directly knowledge translates to empowerment. Inspired in large part by the BBC women’s story (highly recommend reading this New Yorker piece: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/07/23/how-the-bbc-women-are-working-toward-equal-pay), I started proactively mentoring a few junior female colleagues on self-advocacy. While I agree that one should proceed with thoughtfulness and caution when discussing salary ranges/expectations with colleagues (my personal tip is to only/initially have these kind of conversations with people who you truly trust, and vice versa. Also, one can have an incredibly productive conversation around this topic without necessarily sharing specific income levels), I have seen how valuable these conversations to individuals and to our collective goal of progressing gender/identity equality. Sure, one should do multi-pronged research and also consult websites like salary.com etc., but in my experience they have been wildly inaccurate (esp when taking into account regional differences) or too vast a range to translate into solid evidence during negotiations.

    As a final anecdote, I was recently talking with one of my customers – a newly minted female neurosurgeon – who shared that she and her cohort of male neurosurgery fellows had been offered significantly different compensation packages, even though she was also significantly more qualified (more specialized fellowship experience, publications etc.). She discovered this differential due to an unplanned conversation with a trusted male colleague, who shared his compensation info. She was then able to point this out to the surprise and chagrin of her now employer and negotiate a fair compensation package for herself. Point of the story is that sometimes there are structural/historical inequities that need to be addressed, and we can all play a role in taking this step towards progress.

  2. Beth says...

    It’s illegal in Massachusetts to ban employees from talking about salaries. It’s actually a strong way to prevent gender- and race-based pay discrimination. Pay secrecy benefits companies and hurts employees. There are tactful ways to ask people you’re close to whether your pay is fair.

  3. Lauren E. says...

    Ehhh sorry to burst bubbles here (and Man Repeller should know this!) but most men who walk the red carpet are wearing makeup. In fact there are a lot of makeup artists who specialize in male celebrities. So I would venture to guess most of those men in the slideshow have been primped just like the ladies.

    • Em says...

      Yeah I laughed when I saw George Clooney. It sure does look like he’s wearing a bunch of makeup on his face 😂.

  4. Lisa says...

    I’m surprised about the amount of comments that encourage the open dialogue amongst co-workers about sharing salary information. Everyone is so individualistic in terms of what they want to share or keep private. I work with some people that are very private and don’t even openly offer where they went on vacation or even their marital status. Not to mention if you work in a diverse office – cultural norms can be vastly different. Obviously you want to know if you’re getting hosed by your employer but there are other ways to find out what similar job positions pay in terms of salary without potentially highly offending someone you work with. It’s one thing if you offer up the information and don’t care who knows, but flat out asking someone their salary is in poor taste. Why not ask their bank balance or ATM pin number while you’re at it?

  5. Sarah says...

    Ha, it took me about 30 seconds to get it but I had a good laugh at the celebrities without makeup. This is a “trick” I do for myself lately- whenever I find myself thinking, “Oh I should really put on makeup, people expect me to look put together for this” I swap myself out with a man. Does a man ever have to have this conversation with himself? Nope! So I only put on makeup now if it’s going to bring me joy, damn what anyone thinks of how I look.

  6. Chelsi Rodriguez says...

    Where can I find the recipe for these amazing cookies in the photo?! Holy Moly.

    • Sasha L says...

      It’s a link at the bottom of the post

  7. Chelsea W says...

    100% agree with salary transparency & checking around to make sure you aren’t being taken. I like to read thefinancialdiet.com. It creates space for women to discuss finances & learn from each other!!

  8. Alyssa says...

    All of those wedding photos had me going, especially the one of the Dad at the bottom of the steps seeing his daughter. I know that my dad will look like that one day when I get married! :)

  9. Michele Gross says...

    Sorry but I will not shed an ounce of sympathy on female celebrities who feel pressured to wear makeup. They are the epicenter of the photoshopped, airbrushed, surgically enhanced universe-and they make the rest of us feel inferior. If they are uncomfortable, they have options–starting with don’t wear it if they don’t like it.

  10. diana k. says...

    When I was new to my last company, I made immediate friends with the IT department and a few cool people in Accounting. THEY KNOW EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS. Administrative assistants are harder to crack and more of a long-game infiltration, and you never know if you can really trust HR, but those people have very valuable intel. Before my first salary negotiation I would confide in any one of these people and ask “Hey, I make X amount of money here- based on what you know of people’s salaries, should I be asking for a lot more? What about a loooot more?” To my surprise, soooo many people salary snitched to me. “Yea girl, go in – Susan’s making 65k and she’s been planning her wedding at work for the past 4 months.” One IT guy was like, “Wait a minute, let me check” and gave me a full rundown of my department. Also, any time someone left our company I’d ask what they were making, and they seemed more comfortable telling me because they’re usually leaving for better pay and they no longer have to deal with our office politics. Good luck out there.

  11. Jessica says...

    About salaries, many larger companies will publish salary ranges for jobs, so you would know where you fall in the range. That being said, I worked for a non-profit that did not. I found out what a coworker made and it was substantially more than me. I went to HR with some points about why I should be making more and received a huge raise, though not to her level, but it was still a 33% raise, which is huge. However, that coworker never really trusted me again after having done that.

  12. Colleen says...

    Oh, it was a joke! Well I feel somewhat better, I think.

  13. Colleen says...

    Pffft! I much prefer men without makeup. But calling that brave – celebrity or not, is a mighty stretch.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      It’s a comment on how pressured women are to wear makeup, while men can go without any. Hope that comes through!

    • diana k. says...

      … it’s a joke.

  14. Laurel says...

    I’m with Michelle – I love winter. I’m in the middle of summer in Australia slogging through it, I can’t wait to bust out my favourite coats and scarves!

  15. Cindy says...

    Here’s something I just discovered in my own field: the wage gap occurs because our starting salaries are based on past experience. And here’s the rub: the experience that matters is often the experience most available to young, childless, white men. That’s why women get paid less: they start at less because the metric is subtly stacked against them.

    Help, CofJ community! How do your employers handle this experience loophole? Although I understand why experience should matter, how do we allow it to matter without discriminating against those who are historically barred–either overtly or subtly–from opportunities that count as “experience”?

    • Diana k. says...

      Yes and no. While experience is a huge factor in getting hired, female salaries tend to stagnate during their time with the company instead of regularly increasing due to becoming an increased value to the company. I was hired right out of grad school, being told that I had no relevant experience. I accepted a low offer. Then I gained experience and skills on the job and asked for more money to compensate for this new value.

      One year in I requested a small percentage increase during my annual review. It was granted to me. The next year I was moved to a different team and had to take on way more work and (successfully) carry out duties way above my pay-grade. That year in my annual review I said that I was not comfortable discussing my raise as a percentage of my salary, but that I had a number in mind for what I wanted to get paid annually. My boss was kind of shocked, but after hearing me explain the skills I’ve learned, the responsibility I’ve taken on, he agreed.

      If you don’t have experience, take on a lower salary and be prepared to prove your value. BUT, honestly, even if you don’t have relevant experience- bill yourself as a person with leadership skills and work ethic and I encourage you to negotiate from the start, EVEN if you don’t think you deserve it because a company in general will try to low-ball new hires. Of course every field is different, but DON’T BE AFRAID TO NEGOTIATE.

    • s says...

      One idea is to require that internships are PAID. I think a lot of people are left out of getting good internship experience because they need money.

    • Mel says...

      I realize the CoJ community is global, but just pitching in with a recent progress from California – As of this year, asking about salary history is officially illegal! This law was passed specifically due to the well-documented salary arc differential (often based on identity). Maybe one of the many strategies you can take is to contact your local lawmakers?

  16. mcb says...

    actual hard lols at the wife material article.

  17. Julia says...

    I think we should know our colleague’s salaries! The taboo about it is what allows so many salary injustices, discrimination, etc. It should be known.

    • Sandhya says...

      Completely agree. I am actually in a leadership position and I presume that people will talk to each other about their salaries, which is all the more reason to ensure that they are equitably determined.

  18. Sasha says...

    I just wanted to chime in on the salaries. At many public universities, the salaries of professors have to be disclosed by law. So you can look up how much the other people in your department make (or your professor if you are going to school!). Now I am employed at a private college, and sometimes wish I had that information. My friend was a postdoctoc, and accidentally found that a male post doc in her department made twice as much as her!

  19. Erin says...

    Chiming in about the salary transparency, YES you should absolutely talk numbers with coworkers, or at the bare minimum at networking events. Considering money talk to be taboo is a large reason why the pay gap still exists.

    I run a Women in Tech group here in NYC and one of the benefits is being able to scope out companies before applying since we span a lot of the tech scene. One of my favorite moments was a woman had an offer at a company that two of the other members worked at, and was asking about salaries in order to prep for the negotiation. When the first woman said her salary, her coworker was livid because she realized she was being paid $40k less for the same job. Needless to say, she called a meeting with HR that week and it was also valuable information for the woman who was negotiating the new job offer.

  20. Mia says...

    The salary talk is so hard to broach and can cause huge rifts. I agree having a general idea of what other people in the company are earning is useful for determining what you should be asking for and working towards…

    However!

    My team recently had an uproar when two assistants chatted salary and found out one makes more than the other. The higher paid assistant has been at the company longer, had more experience when they joined the company and are achieving more, day to day, than the lower paid assistant. However, the lower paid assistant insisted that it was unfair that they not be paid the same.

    The whole dynamic of the team has now shifted, morale is down and the lower paid assistant doesn’t understand that the differences in salary are to do with accomplishments and experience, rather than being a personal insult. No-one can bring the same qualities to a job and no two jobs are ever going to be the same either – bringing salary into it is an unreliable way to measure your value and success.

    • Jess says...

      Hi Mia, i think the reasons you mentioned for one assistant making less than another make sense, and would be something the team lead / HR person in charge should discuss and clarify with the assistant. I can totally relate to the assistant who feels snubbed, only I think that’s a reason for more openness about salaries! If there had been transparency from the get-go, this situation could have been avoided (e.g. a conversation along the lines of “with your level of experience, we are offering you salary x, and with additional time and project work in area y, there is potential for salary z in the future”).
      also i think the point is that women and minorities are often paid less even when they DO in fact have equivalent experience and skills. so don’t give up on talking money. it really is useful information to have, if not for yourself then for others you can lift up.

  21. Becka says...

    I NEVER cry at actual weddings, but here I am sitting at work on a Saturday morning balling at those photos.

  22. Sarah says...

    More companies should do this!

  23. Sarah says...

    Not only is talking with your co-workers about their salaries protected from retaliation by law in many cases, but it is the best and most important way to find out if you are being underpaid! Gender and racial wage gaps are real, and all too-often cultural taboos around talking about money result in women and people of color losing out. If you can (safely) ask your co-workers what their salaries are without fear of retaliation, you absolutely should. And if you get retaliated against – check the law in your area – in probably protects you.

  24. Courtney says...

    I work for state government, and all state employee salaries are posted publicly on a local news site. I have found it incredibly helpful for setting goals and expectations for my career! It levels the playing field, too. Income inequality is easy to enforce when it’s taboo to publicly discuss salary.

  25. Sharon says...

    LOVE winter! I’m in FL, so very hot in summer of course, but I also love the shorter days. I take better care of myself. In bed earlier, take a bath more often, read more… do all the cozy things! I’m an introvert and homebody at heart, and winter speaks to me in all the best ways!

  26. sarah says...

    Wow that story from one of your readers giving her foster daughter the middle name Rae made my heart leap. That’s my daughter’s middle name too! It’s also my mother’s middle name.

  27. Megan says...

    I used to look down on talking about salary, but then I read that it’s a cultural norm that keeps everyone in their place. Women wouldn’t know they’re making less than men if they don’t know what men are making. I think being somewhat open about salary is important.

  28. JP says...

    You should DEFINITELY ask your coworkers what their salaries are! If your company thinks this should be hidden – then they are hiding something. No one’s salary should be a surprise.

  29. Kate says...

    Oh this Ethiopian food link has made me a bit envious.

    My husband and I are trying to stretch our 4.5yr olds dinner options out a bit. He used to eat everything and anything! Tonight he wouldn’t even try a very basic, mild Indian chicken curry. Only ate rice and nann.

    We are getting a bit sick of limiting our dinner options, what is the trick?!

    Also, a book recommendation. Boy swallows universe. Australian Author, it’s just a brilliant book. https://www.harpercollins.com.au/9781460753897/boy-swallows-universe/

    • Jane says...

      Other, than, obvi., patience (sooo hard for me…), we have found sth. along the lines of “That? Oh, that is for the grown-ups… No, really, I’m not sure if… Well, if you reeeeeeally want to try it, you can have a bit, I think…” to work really well 😉

  30. Melissa Dunsmoor says...

    Michelle, I live in Las Vegas and winter is the only enjoyable time. The heat last from April-October, and I am so grateful when winter comes. I love crisp air, cozy fireplaces and blankets. The summer is so uncomfortable, winter 100%

    • Cindy says...

      The same way in Texas…I live for winter!

    • Laura C. says...

      Same from Europe, I love winter. It brings me life.

  31. Katherine says...

    I absolutely love Cup of Jo, but the E Jean salary transparency link could not be more off base. It’s dangerous for a blog as influential as yours to disseminate information like that.

    YES, we should discuss our salaries. YES, women should take their financial future into their own hands. YES, we should discuss our salaries with our colleagues and use said information as a tool to levy equal and fair pay for all.

    The trope of not talking about money only serves to keep more people in poverty.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh I was actually opening it up as a conversation because I so wildly disagreed with her and wanted to know what readers thought — the comments have been amazing and so empowering!

    • diana k. says...

      That’s a wild interpretation of the word dangerous…. She’s literally asking women to discuss an important topic.

  32. L says...

    I’m all for salary transparency—as long as you ask politely and maturely! I have a coworker who demands salary updates from our work friend group after employee reviews and it’s extremely off-putting. The way you ask matters just as much as (if not more than) what you’re asking about! That aside, having salary transparency with my college classmates was tremendously helpful when we were all applying for jobs (especially since we are in a small and often under-paying profession).

    • diana k. says...

      Haha, that’s so interesting. Everyone has “that person” at work who takes a good thing too far.

  33. Marisa says...

    To pose another view on moving wedding pictures: I went to family court today to support my sister, who is getting divorced due to her ex’s addiction, and negotiating custody of their newborn daughter. I can confidently say that this was the most emotional day of my life, and the scenes I saw in the halls of family court were the most raw displays of human emotion I’ve ever witnessed. And I work as a midwife and have witnessed over a thousand births. My sister is pretty amazing, because her takeaway from this experience was to be grateful for how lucky she and her daughter are to have a loving family.

    • Erin says...

      I got divorced last year and my sister — who also has a newborn — is just starting the process now. It is hard, both as the person going through it and the one in the supporting role. Hugs to you and your sister, and thank you for showing up for her.

  34. Sarah says...

    If talking about salary makes you unpopular with coworkers, that’s the wrong place to work!

    • j says...

      EXACTLY. The only reason it would cause “the brass” to then distrust you is because they are ripping one or all of you off and they want everyone to remain in the dark like compliant little sheep! I am actually a HUGE advocate for privacy in the digital age EXCEPT where salary is concerned. The sooner we have salary transparency from top to bottom the better. But how to educate those who are blind to this is the real question…

  35. Diana says...

    Yeah to Michelle, I love winter so much; we are a weird but
    Smart bunch! Here’s to cozy!

  36. Nadine says...

    Thanks for promoting HONY. I look at it every day & am frequently blown away by people’s perseverance. And thanks for the Miss Moss reminder, now I have somewhere to go when I leave you!

  37. N says...

    I enjoyed ‘Small Fry’ immensely. Going into it, I thought ‘Gah, we know Steve Jobs was not a good father or human being, so why bother’, but then it featured on the best of NYT’s 2018 list. Then I borrowed it from my local library and omg I haven’t been able to put it down and ruining my sleep schedule. Lisa Brennan-Jobs is one hell of a writer. I was also moved to tears in some of the passages. I loved the book so much, I blogged about it! (www.nitasmusings.com). It is a glorious book…such an eye opener to what kids perceive and how much of their environment and tensions they absorb. Wonderful wonderful book.
    Didn’t mean to plug my blog or anything but your timing of reading Small Fry is such a coincidence I couldn’t help it! I just finished the book day before yday!

  38. Sasha L says...

    So many thoughts:
    Yes to those cookies (although the reviews are a little dodgy), but amen to that picture of gooey chocolate….
    Yes to Ethiopian food!! https://www.connoisseurusveg.com/spicy-ethiopian-lentil-stew/
    No to makeup. It’s liberating to let the world see you.
    Yes absolutely to salary transparency! Someone already said it, worth repeating: “a high tide lifts all boats”
    100% petroleum jelly, omg. 😂
    Navy veteran making a better life for herself and her son, YES! tears rolling down my cheeks thinking of all she’s sacrificed for him.
    Those touching wedding pics, wow, love is amazing, and the joy in my heart so see how plain old normal all kinds of love are these days. Finally.
    Winter?? 45 winters in Montana and I spent this afternoon planning a vacation in Costa Rica for next year. It’s lovely here, but two tropical weeks just make one appreciate the crisp air and hot cocoa and crunch of snow even more.
    A beloved baby who’s meant just for Mom Megan? I think so. Thank you to everyone who fosters, truly such a loving gift.
    Happy weekend ❤️

    • L says...

      I made the cookies and they were fabulous! I was amazed. What do eggs and butter usually do in cookie recipes?? These were chewy but crisp on the edges, with melty chocolate and everything. My partner just became vegan so I’m experimenting – and these cookies sacrifice nothing to be egg/dairy-free.

  39. Julia says...

    Hi Joanna,

    I’m a longtime reader, and I always look forward to these lists to kick off my weekend, but I have to say: Please do not link to Amazon when recommendign books. Amazon has been absolutely devastating for local bookstores and small bookstores — and people don’t need any more incentive to shop there! You can link to sites like Indiebound or Powell’s, and you can always link to the publishing house’s book website, too!(https://groveatlantic.com/book/small-fry/)

    Thank you :)

    • KT says...

      Yes, yes, yes! I second this very wholeheartedly. I’ve actually been thinking it for years but never said anything (I worried my publishing industry bias was showing). This is such a simple change and one that, if embraced widely, could make a significant impact on publishers and indie booksellers (and even non-indies like Barnes and Noble that are struggling to stay afloat in the face of this monopolizing megalith. Can you tell I have some beef with Amazon? ;). Thank you, Julia, for posting, and Joanna for listening!!

    • Anouk says...

      Totally agree!

    • Rebecca S says...

      Completely agree! I’d go further and say that Amazon is verging on devastating commerce as we know it, and even more importantly, our privacy (have you seen their patent they are seeking for the new Ring camera?). I have a friend who shops at Whole Foods and won’t give them her Amazon Prime info when she checks out. She says it’s not worth saving 70 cents to give them access to everything they are accessing.

    • Annie says...

      It would make me so happy to see fewer amazon links! Especially for books! People already know about amazon and if they want something at a lower cost they can go there (though it is not always cheaper).

      Perhaps some revenue comes in from the links, but (speaking as a 10 year reader of COJ) it would be cool to see some movement away from Amazon.

  40. Julie says...

    Also super disappointed by that makeup-free link!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I saw it as making a point about how crazy it is that women are expected to hire hair and makeup teams for things like this while men more or less just show up. (And makeup/beauty expectations for women in general!)

    • Me too lol!

    • diana k. says...

      See also Frances McDormand for infinite inspiration on how to age without giving a shit.

    • Olivia says...

      You missed the point. The piece was satirical and 100% pro-women

  41. Melissa says...

    Best Friday/weekend post I have seen in a long time! Well done!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you!!

  42. G. says...

    Yes to the comment about winter! I have summer depression (also known as summer SAD) and suffer from insomnia, anxiety and just general low mood in the summer – I dread June-August every year. I find winter much easier to deal with. It’s a lonely condition to have (whilst most people recognise winter SAD as a thing, with summer SAD they tend to think you are being weird or ruining the mood) so it’s nice to see people who feel the same way!

    • Laura C. says...

      Oh this actually exists?! I’ve always been the weirdo among my friends & family bc summertime puts me in a general bad mood. Yes, I can enjoy summer evening s sn bbq and the beach… But the heat since April to October is sort of exasperating.

  43. Amy says...

    I’ve been putting a lot of thought over the past year into transparency surrounding salaries, especially amongst women. I personally don’t mind sharing my salary information to help further opportunities for other people. The idea that we need to safeguard our salary information like it is the most precious secret is misplaced and fosters a culture of secrecy and competitiveness that I don’t like. Men are never afraid to ask for what they feel they deserve in the work environment, whereas women often are. If we share more often and easily with others, whom we obviously trust, I think we would be doing much more good than harm.

    • Abesha1 says...

      Re part of your comment: “Men are never afraid to ask for what they feel they deserve… ”

      Some men, maybe. White men.

      Salary transparency is good for everyone, not just women.

  44. Cynthia says...

    The Ehtiopian restaurant looks like fun. My husband and I enjoy ethnic restaurants, but we don’t live in New York. There’s probably an Ethiopian one in our area, we just need to google it.

  45. Michelle says...

    Oh my gosh wedding photo #19- that is a true mom love move to not tell her son. He will cherish that photo his whole life. #14 is an adorable idea!

    • Breanna says...

      Talk about ugly crying, read this while putting kids to bed. Oh boy!

    • Melissa says...

      #19 had me ugly crying.

  46. Abesha1 says...

    A joke:
    “Which of the following is not an oxymoron?
    -Accurate stereotype
    -Working vacation
    -Ethiopian food”

    Eat dinner at Zeni, in San Jose, next time you’re in the Bay area! It’s our favorite. Phenomenal food. (And my family would love to join you if you do!!!)

    (The joke is that Ethiopian food is the only “real” food.)

  47. Andrea says...

    Teen moms (and dads) are AMAZING! We should all be working to create a society that supports young parents’ choice to parent their children.

  48. Susan says...

    Living in warm Southern California, I so totally agree with Michelle! Any hint of cold air is a welcome, exciting change! (And all her other reasons I am totally in sync with also!).

  49. sam says...

    Maybe it was me in that coat! I bought it on a whim after showing up to a PTA meeting in the same jacket (the one of Amazon fame that I’ve been wearing for 3 years) as 6 other moms.

  50. T says...

    I love your roundups!

    On the salary question, I could not disagree with the advice more. Yes, it’s ok to ask. Do it tactfully. I would couch it in terms of asking for advice. And of course, back off if someone seems uncomfortable with the question. But like the other commenters here have said, please, women as a group, be more transparent about finances and encourage more transparency from those around you.

    The social taboo on talking about money – or as E. Jean charmingly put it “making yourself completely disliked at your company” by just asking about salary information – was formed to uphold (male, white, cisgender, institutional, generational, etc.) privilege. Rich people talk about money all the time. That’s how they learn to preserve and grow it.

    So yes, ask about salary information. Talk about money. You can’t break through barriers if you don’t know what they are.

  51. Taylor says...

    I work for the federal government (not furloughed but my fiance is, and yes it’s hard, he wants to go back to work! Not knowing when you get your next paycheck is made 10x difficult by having days with nothing to do because you don’t want to spend anything) so I know how much my coworkers make and we all know how much each other makes because, well, it’s the same! And set by the GS pay scale which is public! I love this because we can consult with each other about saving, investing, our TSP (gov’s 401k) without any fear of insult! But I think even if I worked in private practice I’d still be open about how much I make because I am always looking for financial advice and ways to be more financially literate.

  52. kATIE says...

    high-five, Michelle! YAAAAAAAAAAASSSS! I love this comment. I grew up in very sunny (and hot) NorCal which I think kind of ruins a person for life, weather-wise, especially if you find yourself living in gray & rainy (and gorgeous! wonderful!) Portland, Oregon for the bulk of your adulthood. Last year I’d had enough. I was like: I gotta turn this frown upside down, NOW. So I bought candles, read that book about hygge, bought flowers, started a book club, pulled out all the cozy blankets & started making soup on the reg. Now, I love winter. I savor it. I’m no longer counting the days.

    • j says...

      Yay! I love how you turned it around very inspiring!

  53. Quinn says...

    Major goosebumps from that last reader comment! Wow. Also, I feel the same about winter as the reader who wrote that first comment! :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you guys are honestly changing my mind about winter!

    • Sarah says...

      I also adore winter! Long evenings in candlelight, snuggling under blankets, the romance of fresh snow. A yoga teacher told my class that winter is a time to rest. All the animals and plants are resting. All living things need time to recharge in preparation for spring. Now I embrace this slow, low lit, sleepy time :)

    • katie says...

      Listen, there’s nothing humble about it: I’m proud to have turned winter around for myself! Here are some winter game-changers for me, if you like:
      1) Ugg rain boots. Waterproof & shearling lined? Yes, plz. I bought bright yellow & get so many compliments. They have hot pink, too.
      2) Overhead houselights ON until 8pm. We’re not powering down at 6pm! C’mon. How many nights in the summer do I head OUT at 8pm, right?
      3) Candles after 8, and especially in the bathroom. Not sure why, but just this ambient light helps a lot. IKEA candles are cheap & smell good!
      3) Invest in some really soft & cozy slippers. Shuffle, shuffle. Amen.
      4) Walk 20 minutes or 1 mile a day. Rain or shine. This is good for me & my dogs – just GET OUTSIDE. Look around. Everything is sleeping. It’s nice.
      5) Embrace warm evening drinks – mix it up! Make cider, or chai, or hot cocoa (these are especially good carrots after rainy or snowy walks!). It doesn’t have to be the holidays for these things. Hot cocktails count, too. Also, I bought one of those milk frother wands, to kick it up a notch.
      6) Start a club of sorts. I started a group to read through The Artists Way. Was my favorite thing I did in 2018.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      these are great tips!

  54. Bex says...

    I made the poor decision to look at the wedding photos in a busy office!! Recently, seeing or hearing about other people’s deep, raw emotions just gets to me and I think I might be grateful for it.

  55. Jen says...

    L O L. Materials I’d rather be than Wife Material. I am passed out on the floor. Haha, perfect.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “sand” made me laugh out loud.

    • Brooke says...

      “The stuff that makes glow sticks glow”. 😂😂 Oh my goodness, laughing so hard. So cathartic! Phew… thank you.

  56. Sarah says...

    I will never, ever get tired of that cookie picture. Gah!

  57. Sarah says...

    Those emotional wedding photos. Wow. I’m sitting in my living room with my 2- and 4-year-old sons jumping on me, and I’m in a flood of tears. Thank you for sharing. The human condition is truly beautiful.

  58. Colleen S says...

    That wedding photo is choke-up worthy. I was fine until I read about it.

  59. Natalie says...

    YES. OMG YES – ASK ABOUT SALARIES. EVERYONE’S. Ignore E Jean’s advice. Who does salary secrecy benefit? The companies and only the companies.

    If you’re uncomfortable asking direct coworkers, ask friends in the same industry as you (not just women!). If you’re uncomfortable asking friends, ask your friend’s parents what the people in their companies at your level (and the next level) typically make.

    See the NYT articles below that give amazing background on this:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/18/smarter-living/the-benefits-of-sharing-your-salary.html

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/31/smarter-living/pay-secrecy-national-labor-rights-act.html

    • Jen says...

      Agreed! I was surprised by E Jean’s advice! Thanks for the article references

    • Natalie says...

      Forgot to add: as a side note, would love to hear more about why this is important on COJ. I think it could make a big difference with the reach you have and how much we trust and act on your advice. This site and team does so much to empower women, it seems like a no brainer : ) Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

    • Stephanie says...

      It’s such bad advice, that I thought it was a joke answer! Kept scrolling down to see a “keeping your salary a secret only helps your boss pay you less!”

  60. You absolutely should talk about salaries with your co-workers, especially if you are a woman! Lack of transparency only gives your employer power. And this perpetuates gender inequality with respect to pay. Also, it’s nice to have it out in the open. I worked in government for a long time and all of our salaries were published. It was a relief to be able to talk to work friends and know that they knew how much I made. When we had conversations about kids, moving or big life changes involving money, we were able to give each other better advice.

  61. Emily says...

    I agree with what other commenters said about the importance of salary transparency. I also agree with Elle that it’s a tough and potentially awkward question to spring on someone. When I was working alongside a younger woman who was vying for a promotion I happily offered up my salary info. She was so grateful. A high tide lifts all boats in my opinion.

  62. Alex says...

    We’ve taken our son to Awash but he didn’t take too it. Last summer we tried Meskerem in the Manhattan and maybe he seemed to like it better. Maybe his tastebuds had matured. My husband and I had our first date at Meskerem almost 15 years ago and we both love Ethiopian food. Hoping my 6 year old has turned a corner and we can enjoy it more often.

  63. Leah says...

    Sharing salaries has been a saving grace at many a job (and friend’s job). Many women friends of mine have found they are being underpaid, compared to their male coworker’s positions.

    One friend of mine works in a museum, and a Fellow she worked with let her know he was asking for a promotion, and told her how much he was asking for. She asked her boss for a raise, and ended up telling her boss how much the Fellow was asking for. Her boss went and asked for that amount, and she ended up getting it. I thought it was great that he was open with his ask and it helped give her the leverage to ask for the same!

  64. Wren says...

    My company publishes they “minimum/mid/maximum” salary for every job level/position. It’s a huge company so the range is enormous, but it gives you an idea of where you stand. For example, If you are getting consistently positive performance reviews but are on the lower end of the range, time to speak up! And it’s nice knowing your information is published by the company.

  65. Hannah says...

    I help with the budgets for grants in my research group so co-workers salaries are always known. When I was doing salary negotiations I asked all my grad school friends who had gone into the same field but worked at different institutions about their salaries. During salary negotiations my boss was quick to say research was underfunded so what I was being paid was reasonable. Being able to respond with examples of other people with the same experience being paid more was the perfect leverage to get the raise I wanted (plus it made me feel more secure knowing what I wasn’t asking for was completely reasonable).

  66. Jill says...

    I’m actually quite happy I am wife material. And I found husband material. I lead a happy and productive life because I am also lots of other material too. ;) Like teaching, learning, feeling, giving, loving, knowing.
    I truly would not want to be bleach or red dye #40 or burlap. Those materials do not make up a human anyway.

    • Jill says...

      Hahaha. Hi again.
      I do have a sense of humor though. Just wanted to play it straight for a moment. ;)

    • Carrie says...

      I agree :) I love being a wife to my amazing husband. I feel like it’s my launching pad to become a better person in all areas of life.

  67. Anne says...

    Having just watched a co-worker/friend experience the stressful process of considering a job offer and renegotiating her own salary, I really appreciate the openness with which some of us chose to discuss our salaries. There are blatant disparities across the whole workplace, which could be recognized and can now be addressed through discussions with upper management.

    • Angel says...

      But what to do or how to handle when you present the facts of your value and are still denied? It is not always an option to leave. Do you just leave as soon as you can?

  68. Kelsey says...

    I agree with the commenters above. I think it’s very helpful for women especially to foster salary transparency in the workplace. These conversations are probably most productive with coworkers one has already built a relationship with, but I think it’s a necessary step in our collective financial liberation.

  69. I am committing an internet sin of commenting before reading the article. Just based on the question headline, YES! PLEASE MAKE YOUR SALARY INFORMATION TRANSPARENT! This is how we prevent salary discrimination. I am fortunate enough to work in a field that has a transparent pay scale, but most industries are not like this. I know it is awkward, but this is part of the reason why our BIPOC colleagues are not being paid equally!

  70. The brave souls braving the red carpet without make-up, haha! All men and not a single woman, which was more than little misleading, especially since the lead photo was of a woman. And here silly me was hoping for something radical!

    • OH — it was a joke, ha! Well, THAT’S a relief.

  71. Sarah says...

    Anyone else notice that the 10 celebrities to brave the red carpet without makeup were men? Kinda disappointing…

    • Sasha L says...

      It’s supposed to be the joke I think. The only celebrities *brave* enough to go makeup free, are men. And extra funny when you notice most of the men are actually wearing makeup.

    • SarahJane says...

      HAHAH yes, I was so surprised, first that it was about men and secondly that most men wore makeup at the red carpet?!?

    • Michelle says...

      If you read the descriptions, I think it’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek ;)

    • Cate says...

      I think it was supposed to be satirical! Like pointing out men and women are not held to the same standards…

    • CB says...

      From the comment section of MR: “This is amazing, lure us into the mindless security of a topic we have seen hundreds of times before (albeit not on the red carpet), until you see Timothee and a doubt rises, and after continuing on, the injustice hits you and the message of the article is laid before you!!! Genius.”

    • Jasna says...

      It was meant to be sarcastic :-). Because it is usually implied that women are “brave” for not wearing make-up, while it is not expected from men to “mask” themselves in any way to look better or more youthful.

    • Sandra says...

      The other day I was on the train and these young guys (high school or college) were talking and one asked the others “How come women have to put on a bunch of makeup to look good when they go out and men just always look….the same?” I wanted to butt in and tell him I have the same freaking question.

  72. Anna Hosking says...

    Ethiopian food is not only delicious but it’s so fun to eat! Our family spent a month in Ethiopia when we adopted our daughter and I was nervous my picky 3 year old wouldn’t eat a thing, but the novelty of eating with his hands enticed him to try the new foods and he loved them.

  73. M says...

    I would never ask coworkers what they make, although in some places I have worked you know because it’s public. But I have found knowing salaries can breed jealousy sometimes. I know people who kicked butt and rightfully received raises and others who didn’t do the same work think they deserve the same salary. And usually the later have no idea why.

    I have a sibling who is at that impasse right now and asked for resume and negotiating advice. I keep asking them what are your accomplishments? Just doing your job isn’t going above and beyond and won’t get you that impact and without accomplishments you won’t be getting more $$$. It’s also hard bc I have heard people say, “well this person makes pick your number” and it is (usually) much less than that. I think you gotta decide what the job is worth to you and your value add. I also think it’s good to do research because an interviewee once asked (even though the salary range was posted) when we were in final rounds for 100% more than the top of our range, and we paid more than anyone else in our sector.

    Being a woman it is important to mentor and support one another because I have found the opposite to be true. I tell all my girlfriends to do insane research, work their networks and negotiate! Show them what you have done to deserve that salary or raise! You are your best (and in most work settings) only advocate.

    • Emma says...

      Also good to know whether the business EXPECTS to give you a raise. One time I was hired at just above minimum wage and it was only a year or two later, when I was having coffee with my former boss (we became friends after I left) that I learned I was supposed to have gotten a raise after training! Instead I never asked for a raise, and never received one, despite doing opening shifts and other management duties. I’m now trying to figure out whether I can ask for a raise–I think they hired me at a relatively low rate (considering that I’m a contractual employee), but it’s a tiny company (just me and my two bosses) so I have no one to talk to about it!

  74. Andrea says...

    The woman who owns Awash is so lovely! We live close to her original outpost in Manhattan and see her all the time. I always urge people to give that restaurant a try–it is so amazing!

  75. Kim says...

    I think it is VERY important to know how much your coworkers make. I had been at a company FIVE years when HR accidentally disclosed the salary of everyone in the department to me. Two people with the exact same job title who had both been there for less than a year were making SIGNIFICANTLY (almost twice as much) more than me. I asked the company to correct it. They would not. And so, I left. And now, I ask everyone if they’re comfortable disclosing their salary. So far, it’s helped – we’ve all increase the rate for my position together. If they’re not comfortable, that’s fine and no hard feelings. Information is power. So ask away.

    • Kile says...

      That’s so upsetting! Good for you for speaking up! and leaving! and now being open about salary and seeing the benefits of that! I once accidentally saw everyone’s salaries in my division. It was very helpful to see what my superiors were making so I had a clearer idea what to expect if I put in x amount of years. (I left). A person’s salary isn’t the worth of a person, but what the company values and that reflects on the COMPANY more than the person. Transparency is a good thing!

  76. Megan says...

    Disagree with Elle’s advice re: salaries. I think women not knowing what others are making or what they should be asking for is a big factor in women often being underpaid. I think we should talk about those things! As a practical matter, you have to be tactful about it I suppose, but salaries being shrouded in mystery is doing no one any good.

    • Emily says...

      Yes! Thank you for saying this. Very wise.

  77. Jenn says...

    Yesss to winter! I grew up in LA and it was miserably hot (read: anything above about 78, for me) like 8 months of the year. Then I moved about an hour north of SF, where we actually get a rainy season, and while I’m assured it’s not ‘winter’ by non-Californians, it sure does fill a void I never knew I needed filled. <3

  78. Renee says...

    Okay sis you did that and i’m proud of you too! (Humans of New York Story)

  79. Claire says...

    Hi Jo! I love your blog and look forward to the “Have a Lovely Weekend” posts every Friday! This past Christmas and going into 2019 I am really making an effort to shop and support local businesses, especially those owned by women. I was just thinking it would be great to see book recommendations link to independent bookstores or IndieBound rather than Amazon. Thank you for all of your lovely recommendations!

    • Katie says...

      What a fantastic aim for the year! Love it. That’s such a tangible way to boost your local economy on so many levels. Hooray for building community from the inside out!

  80. Kelsey says...

    Okay, you totally got me with the makeup-free link. Well-played, CoJ Team!

    • Sasha L says...

      Me too. Funny, but I was disappointed. I was thinking, oh lovely! A new makeup free trend! How wonderful! Ha. And pretty sure all of those stars featured actually were wearing makeup lol.

      Still leading the makeup free brigade over here, I don’t seem to have too many followers (females anyways).