Americans just scored a big win against CEOs who don't like sharing their salary info.

'When they read that number, employees are going to say, "Why is this person getting paid so much more than me?"'

Corporations, in general, don't enjoy sharing how much their CEOs make.

Probably because the numbers are borderline embarrassing, to be honest.

As Upworthy reported, a study from the Economic Policy Institute found American CEOs have benefitted from staggering pay raises over the past few decades. The rest of the country? Not so much.


CEOs at top U.S. firms made about 303 times more than what their average worker made in 2014. That figure — the CEO-to-worker compensation ratio — has shifted dramatically since 1965, when top CEOs made just 20 times more.

What a difference 50 years makes, huh? Take a look:

With an exception for sluggish economic times after 9/11 and the Great Recession, the CEO-to-worker compensation ratio has surged in recent American history. Graph courtesy of Economic Policy Institute.

Big businesses rarely disclose this information voluntarily. But now, many will have to.

On Aug. 5, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3 to 2 in favor of a rule that, starting in 2017, will require most public companies to regularly disclose their CEO-to-worker compensation ratio.

The rule was actually part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which passed in response to the Great Recession. But after years of resistance from companies hesitant to comply, it's (finally) becoming a reality.

And that's a good thing.

Consider it a big win in the fight against income inequality.

While the ruling does nothing to limit CEO pay, it does make CEO pay more transparent. That's an important factor in closing the ever-growing gap between America's haves and have-nots.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

The New York Times' Gretchen Morgenson asked experts if the ruling will actually result in tangible change. And, according to them, we have every reason to hope so.

“When they read that number, employees are going to say, 'Why is this person getting paid so much more than me?'" Charles Elson of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware told the outlet.

"I think the serious discontent will force boards to reconsider their organizations' pay schemes."

This ruling is no accident. Income inequality has taken center stage in America.

Income inequality: Presidential candidates are making it a core issue of their platforms. Cities like Seattle and counties like Los Angeles are fighting it with hikes in their minimum wage laws. Fast food workers in some places — yeah, I see you New York — have had enough of it, demanding their paychecks match the work they put in.


Workers in New York City will be getting paid $15 an hour by the end of 2018. Workers in the rest of the state will be getting paid $15 an hour by the end of 2021. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

CEOs deserve a healthy paycheck, don't get me wrong. But one that's 303 times bigger than their average employee's?

Unacceptable. Experts agree — we have every reason to hope this new rule will help curb that unjust disparity so every American has the opportunity to thrive.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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