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Why Is It So Hard to Talk About Salary, Especially at Work?


The pressures to keep quiet, and the stakes of doing so, are heightened for women of color, who are told in subtle and unsubtle ways that they will face consequences for breaking from social conventions. Kristen Egziabher, 41, for example, who works in financial technology and lives in Texas, recalled that her parents, who had both graduated from historically Black colleges in the 1970s, taught her to avoid asking questions in the workplace that might cause her to stick out. Get noticed for quality of work, they told her, not for stirring up trouble. As a result, Ms. Egziabher rarely talks about salary negotiations …

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