Over the past few years, more attention has been given to the gender wage gap. In the U.S., women earn 81 cents for every dollar that a man earns doing a similar job. For women of color, the pay gap is even more significant. 2018 data showed Black and Latina women earned 61 and 53 cents respectively on the dollar in comparison to their male counterparts.

As more companies are working on prioritizing diversity, inclusion, and belonging, it is important to know that your work in this regard isn't only about building a diverse team, or being more representative among your leadership ranks.

Building a culture that values diversity means making sure not only that you assemble the right team, but also that everyone is paid what they are worth. Any time someone is consistently paid less than their peers for doing the same job, it sends a very clear signal that they don't belong. That their work is valued less.

And that type of environment is toxic for those on the receiving end of those messages.

Unbounce, a tech company in Vancouver, is encouraging companies to take the Pay Up for Progress Pledge. As part of this initiative, they are asking CEOs and human resources heads to pledge to make equal pay a priority by taking practical steps to tackle the problem within their companies. 

As part of this initiative, they are providing participating companies with a toolkit, which includes case studies, a step-by-step guide, and instructions on how to conduct your own compensation analysis so you can know and understand your own data.

Closing disparities like this one might seem like a huge undertaking. But when you prioritize it, and attach realistic goals and resources to the effort, you can achieve results.

Earlier this year Unilever announced the company had reached its goal of gender balance across the global business. The company went from 38 percent of women in management in 2010 to 50 percent of its 14,000 managers around the world in 2020. It reached its goal one year ahead of its initial schedule.

You owe it to your team to find out if a gender pay gap exists within your company. And if you find that it does exist, know that closing it is doable.

As you highlight your commitment to making your company one that walks the walk with diversity, inclusion, and belonging, you will make significant strides in making it a core part of your culture. And you'll also attract and retain more high-quality talent who feel like they belong with you. And they'll in turn do the work that makes your customers feel that way too.

There are no losers when it comes to closing the gender wage gap at your company. In fact, everyone wins -- your team, their families, your customers, and more. It's time to start work on closing it today. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll reach your goal.