Female professionals are less likely than their male counterparts to ask their employer for a raise or negotiate their salaries, according to recent survey data from Robert Half.

The human resources consulting firm conducted two national surveys earlier this year with the aim of highlighting salary trends affecting working women in Canada.

The surveys found that 56 per cent of women said they plan to ask for a raise by the end of 2023, compared to 64 per cent of men.

Thirty-five per cent of women surveyed reported having never negotiated their salaries, compared to 28 per cent of men who reported having never done so.

The surveys also found that 80 per cent of women were worried inflation would outpace their salary growth this year, compared to 74 per cent of men.

The data is based on survey responses from over 1,500 professionals working in finance and accounting, human resources, technology and IT, administrative and customer support, marketing, and law.


The results were shared ahead of the United Nations’ (UN) fourth annual International Equal Pay Day on Sept. 18, a day created to represent the organization’s efforts towards the global achievement of equal pay for work of equal value.

The gender pay gap between men and women is estimated to be around 20 per cent globally, according to the UN, stating on its website that, "across all regions, women are paid less than men.”

“Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls continue to be held back owing to the persistence of historical and structural unequal power relations between women and men, poverty and inequalities and disadvantages in access to resources and opportunities that limit women’s and girls’ capabilities,” the statement said.

“Progress on narrowing that gap has been slow. While equal pay for men and women has been widely endorsed, applying it in practice has been difficult.”


The two surveys with sample sizes of 1,148 and 596 were developed by Robert Half and were fielded online by a third-party research firm, MaruBlue, from May 4 – May 30, 2023, and August 5 – 15, 2023, respectively. They include responses from professionals aged 18 and over across Canada, working in the fields of finance and accounting, HR, technology and IT, administrative and customer support, marketing and creative, and legal.