- The Illusion of Fairness
- Tech’s Glittering Façade
- The Real Reason for Pay Secrecy
- Crossover: The Pay Transparency Rebellion
- The Impact of Fair Pay
- Redefining Worth: The Future is Transparent
- Beyond The Pay Discrepancy Mirage
Why is pay such a closely guarded secret? When it comes to money - employers don’t want you talking about what you earn. In this article, we discuss pay secrecy, unfair pay, and how Crossover fights against this system with pay transparency.
Did you know that:
- 100% of Crossover hires earn exactly the same as ANYONE else working in that role
- 90% earn MORE than they did in their previous job
- 82% earn MORE than the local pay rate in their country
Pay is why we work.
The Crossover pay model is the most equitable ever created. We’re here to break the silence that normalizes pay discrimination, in workplaces everywhere.
Let’s punch a hole straight through these ceilings.
The Illusion of Fairness
Discussing what you earn is often met with hushed tones and cautionary glances, especially in tech.
There’s an illusion of fairness in this intentionally unfair system.
- Diversity programs mask unfair hiring, pay and promotion practices
Tech is all about projecting the illusion of equality, while never moving to make the changes that will level the playing field.
Having a diversity program can make things appear fair, even if the practices are actually biased. Unfair payment at work is common.
HR likes to pretend that speaking about pay is in poor taste because it’s meant to keep workplace harmony in check and team squabbles at bay. But scratch the surface and the real reason reveals itself.
Pay discrimination at work doesn't bother employers.
Tech’s Glittering Façade
Tech employers exploit the culture of silence and benefit from unequal pay practices. Your ignorance is their bliss.
Why is that exactly?
If you don’t know what other people earn, they can pay you less.
- The Glass Ceiling: Less opportunities for women because they aren’t men
- The Paper Ceiling: Less opportunities for people without degrees or the right degrees
- The Gender Wage Gap: 35% of women are unfairly compensated in tech, and women earn 82c for every dollar a man earns
- The Wage Gap for Underrepresented Groups: Earning 90-97c for every dollar a white male earns
- The Disability Gap: People with disabilities earn significantly less than their counterparts even though they have the same education level
Tech companies fail to pay their workers fairly.
And they do it on purpose.
Minority groups like women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, and those without degrees experience unfair discrimination.
Their pay is intentionally reduced. Compensation discrimination makes talent cheaper to hire.
Value is assigned to an individual based on erroneous factors like experience, location, socio-economic status, where they could afford to go to school, what their race or sexual orientation might be, and if they are one of the 1.6 billion people who happen to be disabled.
All of these personal factors invite discrimination and worse: there is no evidence that they impact the value a person brings to a job.
The Real Reason for Pay Secrecy
Surprise! Money is the motive.
When we don’t talk about pay, we support an abusive system.
Any relationship psychologist will tell you that secrets are the scaffolding of abusive systems.
They keep people locked into unbalanced, unfair power dynamics without support from other people.
If Glenda in accounting finds out that Jim, another accountant, earns 20% more than her, she's going to feel bitter about it. So, the company discourages sharing private information.
This kind of discrimination in pay exists because people discourage conversation about it.
Pay secrecy is a remnant of an abusive era of work that doesn’t belong in the digital age.
It allows employers to judge people and base their worth on irrelevant factors. These factors – when stacked together – are the reasons pay discrimination still exists.
Take paying people based on where they live, for example.
Just look at this data from Glassdoor.com (as of October 28, 2023).
Here is the average pay for software engineers from different parts of the world:
- San Francisco (US): $151,000 USD/year
- India: $7,410 USD/year
- Philippines: $24,000 USD/year
- Brazil: $47,580 USD/year
- South Africa: $46,752 USD/year
In the US a software engineer earns:
- 20X more than an engineer from India
- 6X more than a software engineer from the Philippines
- And 3X more than someone from Brazil and South Africa
Where you happen to live dictates how much money you can earn. If you are born in the US, you will earn many times more than what someone somewhere else in the world would earn.
It has nothing to do with skill, talent or capability.
There are no global pay equity laws to prevent this, so unfair compensation examples like these are easy to come by.
Jump on Glassdoor and run your job title through a few countries to see the huge pay differences.
It's a free tool that gives us accurate examples of wage discrimination.
This broken, unfair system has become increasingly irrelevant thanks to global remote work.
Crossover: The Pay Transparency Rebellion
Crossover has always stood in opposition to this system.
Our payment model is the fairest of them all, and it always has been. This may seem like a fairytale to some, but in reality, we’re leading the pay transparency movement in tech and it’s an ongoing battle.
Our model solves the discriminatory pay practices in the world today.
- It removes unconscious bias from the hiring process (everyone is paid the same)
- Our clients are happy to pay a standard, universal rate based on the work done
- Workers are mostly paid by the hour, for hours worked
Here’s what that looks like for us:
- San Francisco (US): 200,000 USD/year
- India: 200,000 USD/year
- Philippines: 200,000 USD/year
- Brazil: 200,000 USD/year
- South Africa: 200,000 USD/year
How is Pay Calculated with Crossover?
At Crossover we believe in equal pay for equal work.
Unfair wages at work are impossible with our model.
Full-time independent contractors with Crossover earn a complete pay package (40 hours per week) without deducting money for taxes.
Our client’s hires can then pay their own taxes and invest in their own policies, insurance and other financial vehicles as they see fit.
A $200,000 USD per year job works out to $100 per hour, 40 hours a week for 50 weeks. Every week the remote worker will receive $4000 USD in their bank account, without delay. The 2 remaining weeks are for a break.
These 40 hours can be split any number of ways.
They can be made up during a workday, stacked into 4 workdays to have one off at the end of the week – or arranged in a way that best suits the working style of the remote worker.
To get a promotion means applying for a job higher up the ladder. They’re not automatically rewarded after set time has passed.
That would be unfair!
Why is Pay so High with Crossover?
It’s true, Crossover clients pay more than the average – and we’re on par with Silicon Valley.
Our goal is to create equal set pay for anyone, no matter who they are or where they live.
If you can create the highest value work, our clients will pay you Silicon Valley rates. That’s at the heart of our ‘premium pay for premium talent’ ideology.
Great talent isn’t local, it can come from anywhere – so why pay international talent poorly? It doesn’t make sense.
Transparent global pay on the other hand, is something worth believing in.
That means our top-level positions like CTO pay $800,000. While that’s pretty common in Silicon Valley, it’s hard to believe if you’re from India and that would 20X your compensation.
Here is the mindset shift:
- Value relates to work, not the person:
Our pay model compensates a person for the value of the work they do. With greater responsibility comes greater pay.
Our clients don’t care about your age, experience, bushel of degrees or that you went to MIT. What matters is your cognitive aptitude, and the skills required to do the job. We test everyone to find them!
- Pay autonomy is part of the model:
Most of our hires are independent contractors (a few are employees) but what this means is that they oversee their own financial stability.
Instead of accruing health benefits and frivolous perks, our clients offer higher pay so our global hires can take care of their financial obligations themselves. They prefer it that way!
- When you work, you’re paid:
Paid time off isn’t part of contracting but that doesn’t mean you can’t take time off, have sick days and live a normal life. Compensation is based on the work you do, so when you don’t work you don’t earn.
This doesn’t bother our hires one bit – in fact, they love being able to take time off when they want to. It’s 100% flexible. A simple conversation with their manager or team is all that is needed.
The Impact of Fair Pay
Fair pay isn’t a revolutionary idea.
Too many people are so used to pay secrecy that transparency feels wrong.
That’s why we get a lot of mixed feedback on our LinkedIn job posts. But these posts have allowed the best and most skilled people from all over the globe find Silicon Valley level jobs from the US.
The impact these jobs have had on our hires lives has been inspiring!
Being paid in USD has allowed many of our hires to invest, buy houses, buy second properties to rent, move into the best areas, send their kids to the finest schools – and it allows them to travel.
We’re not sorry, and we’re not going to stop.
Equal pay = better quality of life for global remote workers.
How Much Do Crossover Hires Really Earn?
Andrew surveyed over 263 people working with Crossover and asked them how their pay stacked up against what they earned in previous positions.
Nearly 90% of respondents experienced a pay increase, and 35% experienced a dramatic increase in pay.
- 89.73% of survey respondents get higher pay than their previous job
- 34.98% earn triple (300% more) their previous pay
- 23.57% earn double (200% more) their previous pay
- 22.05% earn pay that is 50% more
- 9.13% earn pay that is 20% more
This is our model in action – set global pay that isn’t based on what you previously earned. So, it doesn’t hold people back, it fairly compensates them for the work they do.
Here’s the difference our set model makes vs local pay.
- 81.99% of survey respondents earn more than local pay for similar roles
- 30.65% earn triple (300%) or more than the local rate
- 27.97% earn double (200%) or more than the local rate
- 23.37% earn at least 50% more than the local rate
As you can see, Crossover’s model benefits global remote workers.
Because the pay is in USD, it becomes an absolute life-changer for many international hires. One of the best parts of the job is hearing how global pay equality has changed their lives.
- Xavier earns 16X the median wage
- Lethícia found a sexism-free workplace
- Leonardo bought the house he got engaged in
Remote work and fair pay are transformative for so many of our hires.
- A Call to Remote Leadership with Rahil (India)
- The Promise of Remote Autonomy with Aliza (Pakistan)
- A Recipe for Remote Success with Ivina (Guatemala)
Redefining Worth: The Future is Transparent
The future is global pay transparency.
According to Harvard Business Review, even though pay secrecy remains the informal norm, there are growing calls for greater pay transparency everywhere. At every level.
Laws are changing and pay visibility is less taboo now than it’s ever been. Just as we predicted back in 2014, the march towards global pay equity is inevitable.
- New York City requires job ads to come with a pay range
- Crowdsourced sites like Glassdoor are indirectly offering pay ranges (which combats secrecy)
- Crossover continues to advance fair pay among global hires
The bottom line is that addressing pay secrecy is the key to solving pay inequality.
Even with these new laws, some companies are still trying to game the system. Forbes reports a widening of pay ranges in tech, so that laws are followed but the idea of transparency is invalidated.
To date less than 10% of job postings in the US are fully transparent.
There is still a lot of progress to be made.
Beyond The Pay Discrepancy Mirage
What if you earned 3X more, saw every colleague's paycheck, and pay equality was just... normal?
That’s the workforce we’re building.
Remote work is the great equalizer we’ve all been waiting for. It’s time to look beyond the mirage projected by tech, to the desert we’re all standing in. It’s a choice.
We have democratized access to higher paying jobs, and we’re proud of it.
The stark disparities in pay scales have been brushed under the rug for too long, hidden behind glittering façades and shady practices.
While most of the tech world clings to outdated notions of pay secrecy and discriminatory bias, Crossover continues to lead the charge, championing a radical approach to pay transparency.
The evidence is clear: pay secrecy creates inequality.
By keeping it a hushed secret, companies preserve unjust power dynamics, repressing the potential of countless talented individuals based on arbitrary factors.
This kind of system not only hurts workers but also stifles growth and innovation.
Our commitment to equitable pay, regardless of location, experience, or societal factors, is a testament to the potential of remote work in reshaping the future of employment.
With a model that values the work over the worker's background, we’ve created a blueprint for a world where pay discrimination is a relic of the past.
The question now isn't whether pay transparency is the future - it is.
The real question is: How long will it take for the rest of the world to catch up?
In the fight for a just and inclusive global workforce, the time to tear down the barriers of secrecy and usher in an age of pay transparency is now.
Companies fail at paying their workers fairly – and they do it on purpose. Because profit is more important than people.
Ironically, we’ve found when you prioritize people, profits boom!
The road to equality is paved with open conversation, bold action, and an authentic commitment to fairness. Look beyond the mirage and stand for a future where transparency is the norm.
A future where the best people are paid for the best work, no matter who or where they are.
Join us on the frontlines!