Women are decades--or centuries--away from getting equal pay for equal work. In November, the World Economic Forum estimated that the global pay and employment opportunity gender gap will take 217 years to close. In the U.S., "no matter how you measure it, there is a gender wage gap," says Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute. Scope out the extent of the problem here--and turn to "Mind the Gender Gap" to start fixing it at your company.

Extra student debt doesn't help. More women than men go to college and grad school, and they take out larger student loans--landing them with more than $800 billion worth of the nation's $1.3 trillion in student debt, according to the American Association of University Women. But less-educated men still outearn women with advanced degrees.

It's worse for women of color. Black women come close to wage parity with black men--but overall, they earn 65 cents for every dollar a man makes. Minority women also struggle to advance; an Ascend Foundation study found Asian and Latina women in tech are the least likely to be promoted into management.

The best-paid jobs have the biggest gaps. Minimum-wage jobs are at least good for pay equity. Better pay means bigger disparities--partly because of the negotiation gap. "There's a social expense that women face when they negotiate," says Cheryl Swirnow of CMS Consultants. "They're often seen as 'aggressive' or 'difficult,' while men tend to be viewed as 'strong' and 'confident.'

From the June 2018 issue of Inc. Magazine