Canada's leading employers trust us to deliver fast, efficient hiring solutions that are tailored to their exact requirements. Browse our range of bespoke services and resources.

Read more

Our industry specialists will listen to your aspirations and share your story with Canadas’s most prestigious organisations. Together, let’s write the next chapter of your career.

See all jobs

Canada's leading employers trust us to deliver fast, efficient hiring solutions that are tailored to their exact requirements. Browse our range of bespoke services and resources.

Read more
About Robert Walters Canada

For us, recruitment is more than just a job. We understand that behind every opportunity is the chance to make a difference in people's lives.

Learn more

Work for us

Our people are the difference. Hear stories from our people to learn more about a career at Robert Walters Canada

Learn more

Black Women Face Over 30% Lower Promotion Rates than White Men

Black Women Face Over 30% Lower Promotion Rates than White Men

  • Almost half of Black women (42%) have not received a promotion during their time in their company.
  • 1 in 3 Black women either received less than half or none of their requested salary increase.
  • 1 in 5 Black women are either unsure of the steps required for promotion or need more support.
  • 1 in 5 Black women live paycheck to paycheck with no disposable income.


42% of Black women report not being offered a promotion by their current employers - 31% more than their male counterparts. While a further 1 in 5 Black women also express uncertainty about the necessary steps to a promotion.

New findings from a recent survey from global recruitment company Robert Walters show how Black women in Canada face significant hurdles in their professional journey.

The survey, which included responses from 6,000+ professionals across North America, highlighted the challenges faced by Black women surrounding career advancement - including systemic disparities that contribute to unequal compensation and hinder growth.

It also revealed that just 14% of Black professionals currently occupy Director or board-level roles in Canada, with Black women especially, receiving far less support from their employers when it came to progressing to more senior positions.

Shockingly, when it comes to pay, less than a quarter (22%) of Black women report earning over $100k CAD – compared to three fifths (60%) of white men who can command this type of pay.

Coral Bamgboye – Global Head of ED&I at Robert Walters Group comments:

“Our research stresses a pressing need for a more equitable and robust support system for career advancement within organizations. It’s clear that on average, white men are disproportionately represented in senior positions, earn higher salaries, and are more successful in securing pay raises during negotiations.

“We recognize the challenges faced by Black women within Canadian workplaces and believe that more targeted mentorship and support programs need to be introduced to address and combat these disparities head-on and help level the playing field.

“All employees, irrespective of gender or race, should be provided with equal access to information, tools and resources that aid career progression.”


A lack of opportunities and resources for Black women

A perceived lack of opportunities is the most common challenge to career advancement for Black women, affecting over 1 in 5. In addition, 75% more Black women than white women or men note a lack of diversity within their organization as another key challenge.

The survey also highlighted how certain professionals have a considerable advantage of progressing through personal exposure to valuable resources. Specifically, +62% more Black women than white men or women do not believe that everybody in their organization can easily access the resources and facilities available.

Concerns around equal pay

43% of Black women feel their pay does not accurately reflect the work they do, compared to 26% of white men who feel disappointed by their pay.

Additionally, while 60% of Black women have negotiated a higher salary, they are 67% more likely to have a negative outcome following these negotiations than white men- leading to 1 in 3 feeling underpaid and undervalued for the work they do.

This is even more cause for concern when we consider that one fifth of Black women are currently living paycheck-to-paycheck with no disposable income – 62% more than white men.

Founder of Kim Crowder Consulting, Kim Crowder offers her insights on what organizations can do to improve their ED&I strategies:

"At the heart of organizational success lies a commitment to ED&I. A journey towards a more inclusive workplace begins with data-driven decisions, transparent practices, and an organization-wide commitment. As we measure progress, collect data with transparency, and empower leaders, we pave the way for systemic change."


  1. Data-Driven Decisions: Influence workplace policies with data-driven decision-making, emphasizing its impact on team retention.
  2. Competitive Advantage: Establish standards around metrics like promotion rates and equal pay, gaining a competitive edge and enhancing brand reputation.
  3. Collect Data with Transparency:
  4. Interpretation is Key: Collaborate with external partners to interpret data transparently, presenting both positive and challenging metrics.
  5. Address Disparities: Scrutinize data for misleading information and address disparities with consulting support.
  6. Employee Control Over Data: Allow employees to control shared data, ensuring transparency about usage.

Make It an Organization-Wide Commitment:

  1. Informed Leadership: Ensure every leader is committed to building organization-wide equity, fostering accountability and engagement.
  2. Empower Through Engagement: Encourage team members at all levels to contribute, fostering engagement and inclusive problem-solving.
  3. Empower Leaders: Provide leaders with clear strategies, supported by a dedicated project management office.
  4. Make Changes Systemic and Tell Everyone:
  5. Evidence-Based Changes: Support systemic changes, including unbiased hiring practices and clear guidelines.
  6. Leadership Training: Offer training for leaders at every level, emphasizing clear communication of goals.
  7. Visual Communication: Show progress visually through videos, graphics, and written content, making information accessible.
  8. Continuous Communication: Consistently communicate progress, fostering a workplace committed to equity and standing out as an industry beacon.


Media enquiries

Contact Georgia Peglar


Share this article

Download the equity, diversity & inclusion report

In what was another impactful year globally for the equity, diversity and inclusion movement, this report is designed to help us understand the state of play of ED&I in workplaces across Canada.

Related content

View All

Job Title Inflation: Say Hello To The New Entry-Level Head Of

+50% increase in senior-sounding job titles in the past year in Toronto 51% of Gen Z’s expect annual promotion 45% of young workers do not see managing someone else as an indicator of seniority 42% of Gen Z’s believe their ‘ideas’ are their strongest asset Over a quarter of employers believe young w

Read More

Cost of living crisis twice as bad for women

1 in 10 women rely on additional income outside of fulltime work 40% of women feel underpaid for what they do, vs 24% of men 67% of men earn a median salary of $55k or more, vs 39% of women A quarter of females (24%) have not had a pay rise in the last 12 months, 9% more than men Men are twice as li

Read More

Career Cushioning: Over Two-Thirds of Workers Actively Pursuing New Job Prospects

68% of professionals have already been looking for new jobs as a ‘just in case’ tactic Almost half (48%) blame low job satisfaction as the reason for their current mindset Top career cushioning tactics include monitoring the jobs market, tidying up CV, and networking Amidst the rapidly evolving job

Read More

I'm Robert Walters Are you?

Come join our global team of creative thinkers, problem solvers and game changers. We offer accelerated career progression, a dynamic culture and expert training.