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The gender pay gap, visualized: Women work 63 unpaid days each year

This startling calendar visualizes the gender pay gap in a visceral way. Put it on your wall. You can buy one for your boss, too—anonymously.

The gender pay gap, visualized: Women work 63 unpaid days each year
[Photo: courtesy Lost Time]

Across the U.K., women make 17.3% less than men—a result of women holding lower positions than men in the workplace and women earning less than men even when they hold the exact same job. This is the gender pay gap. It’s a bad number, but it’s just a number. Like sales tax or inflation, it can be hard to visualize. “What’s 17.3% of $76,000 a year?” you may find yourself wondering.

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[Photo: courtesy Lost Time]

A new calendar, developed by London creative duo Alice & Lauren, spells out the pay gap in clear, concrete terms. It visualizes the pay gap as 63 days of unpaid labor a year. That means from January 1 to March 4, women effectively make nothing. To capture those unpaid days, the calendar renders them in a Gloss UV coating, which means these dates catch the light but are effectively invisible compared to the black ink used for the rest of the calendar. The typeface is a custom revival of the British Rail alphabet first designed by the graphic designer Margaret Calvert in the 1960s. Calvert is responsible for many of the U.K. road signs still in use today.

[Photo: courtesy Lost Time]

The team first considered spreading the unpaid days across the year, but as Alice Murray, associate partner at Pentagram London explains, “[it] has more visual impact to group the dates into taking away whole months. That way when people look at it, they can quickly see the extent of which these days take up a proportion of a year’s calendar.” The first day women get paid, March 4, is remarkably close to International Women’s Day, which is March 8.

[Photo: courtesy Lost Time]
A single print runs £30 or about $38, and 100% profits go to Ladies, Wine & Design; Creative Equals; and Designers Speak (Up), which are organizations working to support women creatives. In a subversive twist, you can order not just one calendar for yourself, but two for £55 (about $70). The first is mailed to you. The second is mailed to your CEO with an anonymous note. Order them here.

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach

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