For many people, earning an MBA is the key to a bigger paycheck and loftier position in the workplace.
But if you're a woman or a person of color, an advanced degree still doesn't mean equal pay for equal work.
That's according to a recent study released by the Forté Foundation, a non-profit focused on helping women advance in business. The study, led by Michelle Wieser, Interim Dean School of Business at St. Catherine University, found that overall men and women of all races tend to see a 63 percent or more salary bump after earning an MBA.
But when comparing these salaries within the group, women and people of color still received lower pay than their white male counterparts, despite having equivalent credentials.
Elissa Sangster, CEO of the Forté Foundation, tells CNBC Make It that she believes the problem could be a mix of outright discrimination as well as unconscious bias in terms of how raises are awarded. She says more companies need to have serious conversations around how these decisions are being made and why "certain groups aren't getting promoted as fast or why they don't have as many people reporting to them."