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Get a Raise - Tomorrow Awards
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Get a Raise
What do women have to do to get a raise and overcome wage discrimination? The answer is simple: Be a man.
During a working life, an average Swedish woman earns a quarter million Euro less than a man, performing the same work. Every day, she works for free after four o'clock, while he gets paid until five – and it’s been like this for more than 30 years.

So what does a woman have to do to get a raise?
The answer is simple: be a man.

Annelie Nordström, president of Sweden’s largest union, Kommunal, decided to protest against wage discrimination by performing a “sex change”.

A video featuring Annelie, transformed into a man, was released exclusively to Sweden's largest media outlet. National print ran the same message, while various events and outdoor activities invited women to join the protest. Everything pointed to Kommunal's photo app, providing a simple way to conduct a quick sex change.

The response made this the largest campaign for wage equality in Sweden for over 30 years, reaching more than half the population through editorial coverage and earning 15 million impressions in social media.

The massive attention was used to launch a report that not only proves the inequality in numbers, but also suggests seven ways to change it.

Target Audience
Primary Target Audience were politicians and opinion makers gathered at the annual political week in Almedalen/Sweden.
Secondary Target were all women in order to join the protest.

Objectives
The overarching goal for Kommunal is to erase unequal salaries.
The objectives of the campaign was to initiate a national debate on structural discrimination.

Kommunal represent people working in the public sector, a group largely comprised of women. Other sectors with similar education levels receive substantially higher salaries, for no other apparent reason than the fact that they are predominantly male.
Hence, the problem is structural discrimination, making the issue abstract. This is why this injustice has been able to prevail for over 30 years in “equal” Sweden.

Thus, our challenge was twofold: we had to create enough space to discuss such a complex issue in depth; the message had to be relevant to all Swedish women and impossible to reject as “leftist propaganda”.

Research and planning
Over the course of a working life, a woman in Sweden earns a quarter million Euro less than a man. This is a direct comparison of similar jobs in the male dominated industries compared with the female dominated welfare sector.

The problem of structural discrimination partly exists because of its’ complexity. Therefore, we had to find a bridging basic message that is simple enough to be understood quickly, as well as immediately evoking emotions.

The simplicity of the message allowed for a more advanced dramatization: a cross-dressing union leader was easy to grasp, evoking and provocative enough to engage both partisans and adversaries in a long-lasting debate about structural inequality, where the full complexity of the issue could be covered (something that could never be done by Kommunal alone).

The campaign then steered clear of established, politically burdened words, instead using value-neutral wording, examples and overall tonality. This made the discussions universal enough to transcend the usual boundaries of political affiliation, dogma and tradition.

Execution
Annelie Nordström, president of Sweden’s largest union, Kommunal, decided to protest against wage discrimination by performing a “sex change”.

A video news release featuring Annelie, transformed into a man, giving her best tips on how to get a raise was released exclusively to Sweden's largest media outlet. Simultaneously, a national print campaign ran the same message, while a series of events and outdoor activities invited Swedish women to join the protest.

Everything pointed to Kommunal's photo app, a simple way for anyone to conduct a quick sex change. This helped spark a national campaign, where different stakeholders brought out their arguments for the status quo that Kommunal rose to the agenda. Kommunal then carefully followed and participated in the debate on social media, taking a much larger share of voice than usual. In traditional media, Kommunal became the go-to institution, whilst the issue reached the top national level.

Results
The campaign reached well over half of Sweden’s population through traditional media, despite the fact that the subject is considered leftist whilst Swedish newspapers predominantly support right-wing parties. Beside the massive width of the campaign, it was also extremely well represented in all major media outlets, including tv, radio, national newspapers, news syndications and debate columns.

In social media, “Get a raise” produced more than 13,3 million impressions, including debates where many of Sweden’s top politicians personally got involved, prolonging the debate on Twitter and Facebook.

Collectively, the massive attention gained through earned media as well as (the harder to measure) word-of-mouth made “Get a raise” the only project to be nominated in the two major competitions for best campaign during the political week in Visby, Sweden (best described as a festival for politics, where competition is fierce to say the least).
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