I've been watching with interest as California's Pay Transparency law just went into effect on January 1. That morning I woke up and scrolled job listings at a former employer; my old job wasn't posted. But for other positions I saw ranges well over $100k wide, and some listings soliciting applications for "future" roles without pay ranges at all (though when I checked again today, the latter had been removed.)
While seeing ranges would have helped me calibrate my expectations when first moving to San Francisco from abroad, it would likely not have helped me avoid being paid $10-$85k less in base salary than the eight male colleagues who shared their numbers with me at my last job, where HR told me I was already in the top half of the range.
Base salary ranges also don't help candidates understand the full extent of compensation including stock grants and bonuses, nor do they make clear that a lower salary affects every other percentage-based benefit, from social security contribution and 401(k) match (affecting your retirement) to employee stock purchase eligibility and raises.
If you're in CA (or another state that has enacted a similar law) I'd love to hear your thoughts and observations about the changes. Do you think they will help? Have you looked up your own job, or requested its range from your manager? Learned anything surprising? Reply and tell me! Or if you haven't looked yet, take this email as encouragement to do a little market research about the going rate for your skills.