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The Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Photo: Tim Evanson/Flickr.
The Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Photo: Tim Evanson/Flickr.

AAM Will Require Museums to Disclose Salaries in Job Ads

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) will require arts institutions to reveal salaries attendant to positions advertised on the AAM job board. The mandate goes into effect November 15, two weeks after the implementation of the New York City Human Rights Law requiring employers to include salaries in job listings. The AAM had earlier come under fire for failing to effectively address the lack of transparency in its job listings; rather than ordering advertisers to comply, it had instead wanly urged them not to ask prospective employees for their salary histories, and to be forthright regarding pay.

“With this advanced notice, we urge museums to begin making the policy reviews and changes, benchmarking, and compensation studies required to holistically implement these important practices,” said AAM in a statement.

Among those lobbying the AAM to require salary transparency were the National Emerging Museum Professionals Network (NEMPN), which maintains a database of institutions that refuse to post salaries. Earlier this year, the group posted an online petition, hashtagged #ShowTheSalary, demanding that the AAM direct advertisers to post salaries. The petition gained more than seven hundred signatures. Also pressuring the organization were Museums & Race, a group of museum professionals seeking to end structural racism in the art world, and Museums Are Not Neutral, a global advocacy initiative aimed at making arts institutions equitable.

The AAM is one of the top professional organizations in the arts, encompassing 35,000 museums across fields additionally including science and history. At present, it lists roughly two hundred positions on its job board. In requiring salary transparency, AAM could play a part in closing the art-world pay gaps between those in upper management and those who keep the museums running on a day-to-day basis. The latter group has historically been subject to job precarity and low wages.