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Will the Gender Pay Gap Ever Close? 1 in 5 Canadian Women Say No: Poll

3 women walking down a hallway at work smiling

While Canada has made some big strides in gender equity over the last few years, women still face plenty of stigmas each and every day. The gender pay gap may be narrowing, but Statistics Canada reports that male employees still make more than their female counterparts (11 per cent more to be exact) – so it may not come as a surprise that many Canadian women believe that the gender pay gap will never close.

According to an International Women’s Day poll from Indeed, a shocking 65 per cent of Canadian women believe that they are being underpaid for their work.

Related: The gender pay gap is still alive: here’s how we bridge it

Twenty per cent of women don’t think the pay gap will close

As Global News details, 1,500 working women in Canada took part in the survey and, of those women, 20 per cent (1 in 5) said that they don’t think the gender pay gap will ever close in Canada.

Some women are hopeful still, with nearly 40 per cent of those surveyed saying that the pay gap will close in the next decade, and 67 per cent believing it will happen within the next 50 years.

“There is an overall sense of optimism from Canadian working women, but there are also areas where they feel things can be improved,” Indeed director Michelle Slater told Global News.

“I think this is an issue that we need to address in every area of our society,” she added.

Not many Canadian women are asking for raises

The polling also found that only 46 per cent of Canadian women have ever asked for a raise, with 41 per cent reporting that they were not comfortable enough to ask for a salary hike. However, of those women that did ask for a raise, 80 per cent of them got more money.

See also: High-performing women and underperforming men share same chances for leadership


“Knowing women’s discomfort with the topic [of raises], the onus is on organizations to empower women with tools and information so they can advocate for themselves and, as the research results show, succeed,” Slater detailed.

Ultimately, to close the pay gap, Slater believes there needs to be more transparency when it comes to salaries. She claims that employers can support women by revealing salary bands on job postings.

“It’s important for Canadians to move past the uncomfortable nature of discussing pay in order to create pay transparency,” Slater said, “as this can be a key pathway to helping eliminate pay inequality for all, not just women.”

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