The 25-year-old TikToker going viral asking strangers how much they make

Hannah Williams has millions of people talking about money. A few weeks ago, when the weather was getting warmer in Washington, DC, she and her fiancé, James Daniels, took to the streets with an iPhone and a microphone to ask what some might consider an inappropriate question: How much money do you make?

Surprisingly for Williams, people opened up pretty quickly: an IT worker named Chris said he earns $ 70,000; a lifeguard shared that he earns $ 15 an hour; Max, a contractor, earns $ 96,000; and a $ 52,000-a-year research scientist says he loves what he does and that “passion matters more, but money is also really important, and people should be able to earn a decent salary no matter what they do.”

It’s one of about a dozen videos in the new 25-year-old Salary Transparent Street video series, directed by Williams, which hopes to promote “equal pay through transparent conversations.”

From $ 40,000 to $ 115,000

Transparency can help close the pay gap

As she talked more about hers further investigated the role of wage transparency in improving pay equity and how it could help close gender and race wage gaps. On average, full-time women earn 83 cents on every dollar paid to a white man, and the wage gap widens for women of color.

With more people changing jobs at the Great Resignation, Williams saw how wage secrecy could continue the cycle of women and people of color hired on lower wages.

Williams was frustrated by business leaders who said that wage transparency would take away their competitive advantage or that workers would be dissatisfied and leave. She also remembers one viral posting on social mediawhere a recruiter says she offered a candidate $ 85,000 for a position that had a budget of $ 130,000 because that was what she asked for.

“That really pissed me off,” Williams says. “You have the budget, which means that’s what you’re willing to pay someone. It gives me so much more about the company and that recruiter than the poorly paid employee.”

Williams felt he could use his social media platform and his data background to help. “A lot of people don’t know how to put the price on the market,” she said. “They can literally go out with people who pay poorly because employees don’t know anything better, and I’m fed up.”

Keep the conversation going

Williams expects companies to pay attention to the conversations that take place, even on social media: “I literally don’t have the power to go to the head of big corporations and tell them, ‘You have to talk about pay transparency with all your work.’ and within your companies’. But the Great Resignation has shown us that there is power in numbers, and when we all agree on an idea, we can really influence a big change. “

Looking to the future, Williams hopes to lead his national series. It also wants to dissuade viewers from making comparisons between people living in different areas of the cost of living. “The whole point is to try to encourage people to do more market research” and be open to having conversations about pay.

At the moment, Williams usually takes about an hour to film his videos. People even started recognizing her. From time to time, you will not be able to utter a few words before the other person shoots you. She believes older generations are more reluctant to share their salary in front of the camera.

But most of the time, she is able to make people feel comfortable, even empowered, to share what they earn with a world of strangers. Once they get over their nerves, Williams says, “it looks like a weight has been taken off their shoulders, like, ‘Wow, it wasn’t as bad as I thought.’ And that’s wonderful.”


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