A group of professional women held a rally in downtown Calgary to raise awareness about equal pay.

The rally date of March 18 was chosen since it marks the end of the 420 days a woman works to make the same annual salary as a man, said president Jenny Gulamani-Abdulla of the Business and Professional Women's Club of Calgary.

"Women in Canada are working for free for two and a half months," she said. "That is not acceptable, not in a country like Canada."

A Statistics Canada report showed that in 2008 women in Alberta made an average income of $34,000, while men made an average income of $61,700. That gap was much larger than the Canadian average of $30,100 and $47,000.

Gulamani-Abdulla said discussing wages is not a generally seen as an acceptable subject for women workers, but participant Linda Mensah said women shouldn’t be afraid to talk about money.

"So many people don't even know…that they aren't getting paid as much as men are getting paid," she said. "I really need to make sure that I'm going and asking about it and I would advise everybody else to do the same really."