November 10 is Equal Pay Day in the UK, which highlights the gender pay gap. To bring attention to the day, Now and the Women’s Equality Party are raising awareness through a smart ‘out of office’ campaign.
In the UK, women on average earn 18.4% less than the average man. When this is measured across a calendar year, it means Equal Pay Day is the day where women effectively stop being paid a salary, relative to men.
Now has created a PR stunt that aims to drive conversation around the Gender Pay Gap and the work that the Women’s Equality Party is doing to help make the need for an annual ‘Equal Pay Day’ redundant.
The idea behind the stunt is that if women are effectively not being paid to work, why should they work at all? Now created a way for women (and men) alike to show their support by symbolically setting an Out of Office template on Equal Pay Day for the day with the #OutOfOffice hashtag and a subject line of 'Out of Office. For the rest of the year.'
Those setting their out of offices for the day included the likes of the AAR, Oystercatchers, Thinkbox, Wacl and the female first dating app, Bumble.
“Deloitte estimates that the gender pay gap will be eradicated by the year 2069. We think that’s a shocking statistic and we need to make much faster progress to close the pay gap for good,” said Kate Waters, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Now.
Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, said: “The gender pay gap is poorly understood and as a consequence not closing fast enough. We want women everywhere to see the scale of the problem and join us in sorting it out.”
An earlier equal pay campaign from WEP and Now created a visually arresting outdoor campaign for the Women’s Equality Party and Liverpool Metro Mayoral candidate Tabitha Morton.
The work shined a light on Morton’s priorities of ending violence against women and redressing the gender pay gap by featuring a purse in the shape of a vagina and stating that women were being shortchanged in their pay versus men.
The #OutOfOffice hashtag had a strong showing on Twitter as well, with many companies offering support and WEP even calling out prime minister Theresa May.