Like many countries, Germany has a problem with a gender pay gap. According to a report by the German Federal Office of Statistics, the unadjusted gender pay gap in that country is 21 percent. That is, women are paid 21 percent less for doing the same work as men. Now, German fashion brand Paisley is doing something about it. The company has issued a new, in-store, currency for women, called FEM. Women shopping in the Paisley flagship store in Hamburg can exchange their Euros for FEMs. Each FEM is worth 21 percent more than a Euro, so women can buy 21 percent more with the new money.
As with other currencies, the FEM has its own notes. They have been specially-designed to highlight different historical female figures who have helped to pave the way for women today, and additionally include security features to avoid misuse. The notes include images of Ada Lovelace, Rosa Luxemburg, Florence Nightingale, Amelia Earhart, Jane Austen and Marie Curie. Paisley are also looking for partners to join the FEM movement and expand the project. According to Paisley, they are already seeing interest from other retailers to also offer FEM notes in their stores.
The launch of the FEM currency coincides with the launch of Paisley’s first women’s collection in April 2018. The campaign was created by German ad agency MAYD. Although conceived as a marketing promotion, Paisley hopes that the project will be effective in highlighting the inequities in women’s pay. The company claims that they are committed to fighting for equal rights and equal pay. Springwise has previously highlighted a number of initiatives aimed at bringing equal rights to women. These include a predictive text app that reverses gendered language and a crowdfunding platform for female entrepreneurs. What other ways are there to draw attention to the need to close the gender pay gap?