Gender equality is still a barrier in today’s society that is costing the US not millions, not even billions, but trillions in economic growth. The National Committee on Pay Equity shows the gap between men and women: Overall, women earn 78 cents on the dollar compared to what men earn.

Gender inequality has been a problem in U.S. history since the early 1900s. Back then, women did not have the right to vote, the right to work, or equal pay if they did go to work. Women were supposed to take care of the home, the children, and cook the meals — but all that changed and women have made a huge impact in history. Despite all that progress, however, we have a very long way to go.

If women were to gain full gender equality by 2025, the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would rise by $4.3 trillion. This could be accomplished by an increase of women entering the work force, more full-time jobs available to women who now are forced to work part time, and and the availability of jobs for women in fields that are usually available almost exclusively to men.

Six major barriers have been found to impede women’s progress in the work force; lack of leadership and managerial positions, unpaid care work, single motherhood, teenage pregnancy, poor political representation, and violence against women. Any of these problems can hinder women from climbing the economic ladder. State-level programs, better government assistance, and most importantly business promoting gender diversity are all necessary for the economy to grow.