This recent study shows some pretty dramatic benefits to the overall economy in pursuing an equity agenda—to the tune of nearly $26 trillion over the 30 years analyzed! We should all know by now that the unemployment and educational attainment gaps, particularly between Blacks and Hispanics and their white counterparts, are the biggest culprits. So, it is perhaps understandable why it’s hard for the average employer to wrap their heads around how to solve those big structural impediments to equity. But one easy fix this report points out is well within the grasp of every employer: education utilization.

Blacks and Hispanics are disproportionately in occupations that are inconsistent with their degrees. As the authors point out, “[t]his lack of career-to-skill optimization is a drag on the economy.” You don’t have to be an economist or an education reformer to figure this one out. Addressing this type of mismatch is well within the capabilities of every employer regardless of industry or size. Analyze your workforce and just take advantage of the skills and competencies you have already in your employ.

This interactive data visualization shows what it would look like for each state if race and gender gaps didn’t exist. It’s very eye-opening.

Such enlightened self-interest will benefit your business and our economy as a whole.