The next time someone tells you that women are underpaid because they don’t negotiate, tell them this story.
Taylor Byrnes applied for a menu development job at a Winnipeg-based food delivery company called SkipTheDishes. Her first phone interview went well, and the company scheduled a follow-up interview, to be conducted in person. At that point, Byrnes asked about pay and benefits, as anyone might reasonably do before continuing the interview process. SkipTheDishes’ representative promptly cancelled the interview.
Lest you think Byrnes took the wrong tone, or otherwise tanked her chances, see her note and the company’s reply (per her tweeted screenshots):
— . (@feministjourney) March 13, 2017
A ‘Unique’ Company Culture?
As you might imagine, people on Twitter had a lot of thoughts about the incident.
— Tressie Mc (@tressiemcphd) March 13, 2017
— Ask a Manager (@AskAManager) March 14, 2017
I'm not comfortable with you mentioning price in your tweets. It seems out of sync with your priorities as a company.
— Mrs.Woolwine (@jnwoolwine) March 15, 2017
The gist of most responses: work is work, and we all need to get paid for it. We can debate the ideal time to ask about compensation. (Is it after the first interview? The second? After you’ve been offered the job?) But, the fact is that people need to know a general salary range for a position before they invest too much time interviewing. Furthermore, it’s not like Byrnes opened the conversation on the phone by asking for the budget for the position. She has a right to know whether it’s worth her time to continue.
The Company Responds
Not long after, SkipTheDishes tweeted its response, including screenshots of its conversation with Byrnes. Crucially, it included an apology and an invitation to schedule an interview.
— SkipTheDishes (@SkipTheDishes) March 14, 2017
In a statement to BuzzFeed Canada, co-founder Joshua Simair said:
The email sent to Taylor was wrong and does not represent our team’s approach or values.
We are very disappointed in how it was handled. We do share a compensation package prior to hiring. As soon as we became aware of it on Monday, we reached out to Taylor to apologize for the email and reschedule her interview.
No word on whether she took them up on the offer. On the upside, it the company says that it will train staff to keep an incident like this from happening again.
BuzzFeed Canada notes that SkipTheDishes was sold to its former rival, Just Eat, for $110 million in 2016.
Tell Us What You Think
Have you ever lost a job offer or interview because you asked about salary? We want to hear from you. Tell us your story in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.