European Parliament Info(less) Graphic

I saw this image on facebook, on the European Parliament’s page. They describe it as an “infography” but I would argue that it is just a pretty picture with some statistics written on.

European Parliament poster on gender equality which simply lists the following statistics: Men: CEOs 98%, Executive board members 91%, Employment rate 76%, University graduates 40%, Working parents 90%, Part-time workers 25%, Average salary  € 34,377.00 Women: CEOs 2%, Executive board members 9%, Employment rate 63%, University graduates 60%, Working parents 66%, Part-time workers 75%, Average salary   € 26,390.00

European Parliament poster on gender equality which simply lists the following statistics: Men: CEOs 98%, Executive board members 91%, Employment rate 76%, University graduates 40%, Working parents 90%, Part-time workers 25%, Average salary € 34,377.00
Women: CEOs 2%, Executive board members 9%, Employment rate 63%, University graduates 60%, Working parents 66%, Part-time workers 75%, Average salary € 26,390.00

The point of infographics is that it is easier for our brains to parse information in visual form rather than as text. I would argue this is especially true of the sorts of images that pop up on our news feeds and that  we might only glance at for a few seconds before we move on. It is far less impactful for me to say that only 2.4% of CEOs are women and 97.6% are men, than simply to show this graph:

Stacked bar chart showing CEOs by gender: 2.4% women and 97.6% men

Stacked bar chart showing CEOs by gender: 2.4% women and 97.6% men

So I took it upon myself to copy out their statistics and, in the quickest, dirtiest way possible, put some visuals into their image. I sincerely apologise for how ugly this is, it was achieved using Excel, Paint and Publisher in the shortest time possible (I should really be studying). A designer I am not. But I find it astonishing that any designer would go to the trouble of making the poster and not including the data in a visual format:

European Parliament poster on gender equality with graphical representation of statistics included. For salary, the data point for men (€ 34,377 is taken to be 100%)

European Parliament poster on gender equality with graphical representation of statistics included. For salary, the data point for men (€ 34,377) is taken to be 100%.

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3 thoughts on “European Parliament Info(less) Graphic

  1. I admire your persistence on the issue of display data in an informative way Maeve. Sometime I just sigh, like I did with this example. I wonder whether the job was given to a graphic designer without any knowledge of statistical tools. A stacked bar chart is the best tool for the job in the example you took but this can be transformed into something interesting by taking a symbol of the thing (CEO) eg. a head (my imagination only stretched to this but I’m sure a graphic designer could come up with something better) and have 4% coloured blue, eg one ear to represent.

    A statistician to help with choosing the appropriate tool and a graphic designer to come up with the whacky idea/image may be the dream team for infographics. Might suggest this to Lion 🙂

  2. Excellent work Maeve. Yes it wasn’t really infographical at all! It could have been done with storeys on the building having a line across them (bar chart) marked in two colours that contrasted well with the background.

  3. Pingback: A collection of things for International Women’s Day | l’esprit-d’escalier

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