Here’s a look at my salaries over the years. Why? There are very evident and measurable wage gaps which occur across genders and race. While it may not be a solution, one way that I think we can start to combat that is by being more transparent about money and our history of money.
Being secretive about our pay only protects employers and provides the silence needed for wage gaps to flourish, and for generational wealth to go unchecked.
While I do think if this were adopted larger across the industry it could serve as a useful tool for gauging industry standards, I also understand that salaries and wages can drastically differ based on location, company size, and company income/profitability.
I suspect this would be most useful (and relevant) within organizations. To see how salaries stand against each other within a company—that’s really where wage gaps are revealed.
With all of that being said, here is some up front information on myself.
I’m a white cisgender man with a college degree working as a graphic designer.
From 2013 to 2017, I attended the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). At the time I did not have any parental financial support, and was forced to drop out of school after one quarter because I could not pay the tuition. The debt that I owed to the school (which I estimate to have been around $7,000–9,000) was eventually paid off by an inheritance my mother received after her father died.
I returned to SCAD the next year with the help of an athletic scholarship, and took out Federal student loans to cover remaining tuition costs, housing, food, etc. By the next year my athletic scholarship covered all of my tuition. While at school I didn’t receive any financial support from my parents, and graduated college with $29,167 in student debt.
Additional life context can be found on my about page.
Twin Forrest • Savannah, GA
This position operated akin to freelance (paid by the project—no set salary or wage), but to be clear I was very much on board with this. Matt and Sam had already hired me as a freelancer previously, and I wanted to the opportunity to learn from them directly.
They gave me keys to the office, let me come and go as I pleased, gave me the freedom to choose what projects I wanted to work on, and were a joy to work with.
Louise Fili Ltd • New York City
I didn’t negotiate this at all. I was fresh out of school, excited to have landed a dream job position, and far too nervous to ask for more. Only half of health insurance is covered (and no dental), and the other half comes from my paycheck.
We introduced a SIMPLE IRA account with up to 3% matching.
Freelance • New York City
Freelancing while working full time was taking a toll on me, so I largely stepped away from it halfway through 2019. I moved into a new apartment in April and my rent/expenses have nearly doubled, so I may need to start taking on freelance work again.