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I'm $10,000 richer thanks to my ‘Whisper Network’

Charlotte Cowels writes in Glamour, "The group text did not begin with grand ambitions. It was a mundane back-and-forth about where we, five women who’d once worked at the same magazine together, should meet for drinks. Over time the text chain has become more than just a convenient platform to gossip about our old bosses—it’s evolved into a forum for sharing industry contacts, swapping job tips, and yes, talking hard salary numbers. When I was negotiating a long-term contract last year, I checked with the group: Did the fee seem fair? “That sounds low to me,” texted one. Said another, “I’d aim about 20 percent higher.” I did, and wound up making almost $10,000 more because of it. “Would you consider us a mini whisper network?” I texted recently. My phone buzzed with agreement. “I only have one or two other friends who are open to pay questions,” wrote one member. “I wish it wasn’t so awkward. It’s like rent—no one talks about it!”

Hush-hush by definition, these whisper networks have popped up in Slack channels, Facebook groups, and late-night cocktail gatherings, in fields from entertainment to tech. There are actresses discussing negotiations in private #TimesUp meetings, TV writers and directors listing their wages in an anonymous Google spreadsheet, and Google employees doing the same. The goal is to reveal discrepancies, reduce wage gaps, and help women know their value." READ MORE>>

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