The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation released a PULSE Study in 2017 that showed significant disparities in pay between men and women across all occupations in Cincinnati. Skeptics often argue that women’s choices rather than discrimination cause the pay gap. Variables like education, experience, hours worked, age, marital status, and children explain part of the pay gap, but not all of it: the unexplained average gender pay gap in the Cincinnati area is $4.26 an hour—that’s $8,900 a year for full-time employees. This has real consequences for women over time, impacting their ability to pay off debt, purchase a home, and save for retirement. Surprisingly, education is not an effective solution. In fact, the gap becomes even more pronounced as women attain higher levels of education. Women of color suffer the effects of not only the gender pay gap but also the race pay gap, putting them at an even further disadvantage. The issue of gender equity in the workplace goes beyond pay disparities. According to a Lean In/McKinsey & Company survey, fewer women are hired for entry-level positions even though they represent 57 percent of college graduates. When they are hired, they are 18 percent less likely to be promoted than their male counterparts. As a result, only 20 percent of chief executives are women and less than one in 30 are women of color. Women with children face an additional “motherhood penalty.” In a study by Cornell University, researchers found that mothers are judged as less competent than women without children and are held to harsher performance and punctuality standards. When mothers are hired, they’re offered a lower starting salary and viewed as less suited for future promotions. Men on the other hand experience a “fatherhood bonus.” They are rated as more committed to their job and offered higher salaries than men without children. Implementing workplace policies that encourage work/life balance for both men and women can help shift outdated gender norms by facilitating an opportunity to share responsibilities more equally. I’m sure we can agree gender equity is the right thing to do. But it’s also good for business! Fortune reports that companies with greater gender diversity in senior leadership have 27 percent higher profitability. Improved business performance, economic growth, talent retention—what are we waiting for?