I recently won a gold prize in the Creative Conscience Awards, an international competition for advertising, with a graphic design campaign about wage inequality.

To be honest it gave me a chance to delve into matters that I wouldn’t normally pay attention to, or rather wouldn’t want to: the kind of uncomfortable ‘let’s do something about it’ project where you figure out if there is a way of tackling a chosen problem creatively.

How I got my ‘Mind the wage gap’ campaign idea is super cheesy. During my Tumblr browsing time I kept on scrolling through Emma Watson’s pictures and excerpts from the ‘He for She’ campaign.

My parents brought me up in a way that never differentiated between genders.

My mum would do things my dad did, it was ordinary. So while I’d brush off any aunt’s comment of ‘that’s not how a girl behaves’, it surprised me that the points Emma was making were nothing new or groundbreaking, yet refreshingly taboo and necessary to say.

The corny bit was that around this time I dreamt of travelling around London and ‘mind the gap’ somehow had a different meaning. I guess after reading ‘wage gap’ in research for so long my brain married the two. I woke up with that fuzzy, happy feeling when you think you have that eureka idea that might just work and I realised that this could be my entry for the CCAwards. So the research carried on.

After I proposed the idea, my female tutor started telling me stories about how she’d found out by mistake that her male colleagues made more money than her. Now that made me upset. Way too close to home. I’ll be next, as I’m leaving university next year. This is not okay, I thought we were equals.

The worst thing is that the ‘wage gap’ is this ghost. It’s illegal and yet nobody has a problem discussing the salary gap like it’s just another annual business report. It’s about the same with murder being illegal: still happening and figures being published –  except we talk about it with disgust and culprits get incarcerated.

I want salary information to be transparent across companies and I hope that the campaign would raise awareness of this. Hopefully, there will be no need for that as the Government’s started to wake up from what I hear. If they need an extra push, I’d be more than happy to do anything to bring my campaign into life.

To finish off, I have to give mega thanks to Creative Conscience Awards @CCAwardsUK for what they’re doing. They are relatively new but each year they give exposure to young, talented minds and open doors to possibilities of changing the world. They are so invested in working together for a better future, it’s an honour to be a part of it.

See more of Sylvia’s winning images

Sylvia Wydra, graphic design student at Middlesex UniversityABOUT AUTHOR

Sylvia Wydra is a graphic design student at Middlesex University