Editor’s Note: Natasha Lamb is managing partner and co-founder of Arjuna Capital, an impact-investing firm. Jennifer Klein is the chief strategy and policy officer at TIME’S UP, a nonprofit organization that fights gender inequality at work. The opinions expressed in this commentary are their own.

The US Women’s National Soccer Team has ignited a fire and jumpstarted a powerful new movement for gender pay equity worldwide. Fresh off earning their fourth world championship, the team has turned their attention to a fight at home: the fight for pay equity. And it’s personal. Despite their winning record and ability to generate tons of revenue for US soccer, the women’s team players make a fraction of the income paid to the male players. But it’s going to take a ground game to get the results needed — and not just for athletes and celebrities, but for all women. That’s why leading US companies must be called to account.

The pay gap not only holds women back — making it harder for them to support themselves and their families — but it’s bad for business. It creates a structural barrier for building diverse, innovative and outperforming teams. Yet, at the current pace of change, it’s estimated that the gender and racial pay gap won’t be closed for a century.

And that’s why, in this historic moment in the fight for pay equity, TIME’S UP is working with the US Women’s National Soccer Team and Arjuna Capital to accelerate progress toward pay equity. We’re starting by calling on companies to step up — and pay up — to close the gender and racial pay gap. That’s because the pay gap will persist until companies examine the inequity embedded in their practices and make the changes necessary to build a more equitable, diverse and just workforce.

The irony is, despite making up half the workforce and turning out more college graduates, the average woman makes 82 cents on the dollar compared to the average man, losing nearly half a million dollars over the course of her career. That’s the difference between owning a home and struggling to make rent; between sending kids to college comfortably, or shouldering years of debt; between retiring with security or facing financial insecurity later in life.

As bad as these statistics are for women across the board, they are worse for women of color. Dramatically so. Black women, for example, make only 62 cents on the dollar by median wage vs. white men — a shocking disparity that can’t be rationalized when you consider black women are among the most educated in our workforce.

So what’s behind the pay gap? Gender and racial discrimination accounts for nearly 40% of it. The landmark Equal Pay Act of 1963 brought significant progress to narrow the gender pay gap, but that progress has largely stalled for the past 15 years. That’s because persistent systemic barriers and loopholes in existing equal pay laws continue to shortchange women.

Beyond that, women are overrepresented in low-wage jobs and underrepresented in high-wage jobs (which says more about how society values women’s labor than the value of the labor itself). Finally, the greater burden of home and caregiving responsibilities falls on women, not to mention the long-lasting effects of withdrawing from the workforce, even temporarily, to raise a family. Collectively, these factors render women less likely to advance to senior positions with higher salaries. It’s a vicious cycle.

But that doesn’t mean all hope for pay equity is lost. Companies hold the power to create lasting structural change. But, the first thing companies need to do to close the pay gap is to admit they have a problem. That is, to do in the United States what they are already mandated to do in the United Kingdom: Disclose the median pay gap of their workforce.

A median pay gap analysis goes beyond the outdated notion of “equal pay for equal work,” which only measures whether men and women who hold the same title are being paid commensurately. Instead, the median gap examines what women and men earn across an entire institution. That is, how men and women are valued at a company.

Median pay analysis most accurately reflects the totality of the pay problem and the strategic ways in which companies can work to close it. And it turns out that this level of transparency results in more women being hired and promoted into high-paying jobs and managerial roles, shrinking the pay gap.

So what are we waiting for?

Through public policy, broad-based advocacy campaigns and successful shareholder engagements, we can encourage companies to take proactive steps. In January, an investor proposal from Arjuna Capital helped influence Citigroup to disclose its global median pay gap for women and minorities. Citi’s announcement revealed a 29% company-wide pay disparity between men and women.

Public policy matters, and we need to continue to advocate for stronger laws. Federal legislation like The Paycheck Fairness Act, which would prohibit employers from using salary history to benchmark a new employees’ salary, has bipartisan support yet is stalled in Congress. And though it has said it doesn’t plan on requiring it in the future, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is requiring companies to report wage information across gender and race to the federal government by the end of the month. States have also stepped up by banning hiring practices that have contributed to the pay gap, such as asking candidates about their salary history.

But forward-thinking companies should not be waiting for a government mandate. They need to act now by conducting and releasing median pay gap analyses. The fact is, it is in their self-interest to build top-performing, equitable, diverse companies.

It’s time for an honest accounting of how money flows within corporate America. It’s time to shift that balance toward the kind of equity that promotes a more diverse workplace and leadership — and improves the bottom line.

The American people have relished watching the US National Women’s Team players excel at their sport and stand tall for themselves and for women and girls across this country. Now is the time for business leaders to draw from the players’ strength, get into the game and pay up.