The US is very hush-hush compared to other countries when it comes to discussing money, and our federal law protects our income tax information from being exposed. Not only does this protect individuals' privacy, it also conceals the prevalent gap between the rich and poor and makes the exact gender gap difficult to measure.
UK Equality Minister Harriet Harman has spearheaded proposed laws that would encourage companies to publish figures showing their average gender pay gap. It's a clever way to get around sharing individual salaries while clearly exposing the companies who underpay their female employees compared to men. Harman explained, "We have structural discrimination on pay and we will be able to see it clearly for the first time, workplace by workplace. Women will be able to see they are paid less than men and will be able to complain about it and challenge it."
The legislation would require public companies to share these figures while heavily suggesting that private companies follow suit, and Harman says she's confident they would. I think they could really be on to something with the proposed law, but how do you feel about the second piece of it? The legislation would also promote "positive discrimination" by favoring female and ethnic minority job candidates with equal qualifications.