In the year 2014, women are still underrepresented in all kinds of professions, including tech, banking, and law, writes Catherine Rampell at the Washington Post. And while all kinds of smart, high-minded reasons exist for companies to hire more women—studies suggest they boost collective intelligence, for example—Rampell suggests a far more basic one. Women cost less and thus will improve a company's bottom line. "They still, amazingly, come at a discount," she writes. "At least for now."
She notes that Tuesday is Equal Pay Day, meaning that April 8, 2014, marks the date that women catch up with the wages men earned in 2013. Yes, a pay gap still exists between men and women, and female representation in executive suites remains "alarmingly low." Granted, companies are taking steps to remedy the problems, but "lip service isn't enough," writes Rampell. "As long as firms are resistant to changes that will help attract and retain female talent—like more flexible work arrangements, which can actually boost worker productivity—they will be limiting their own potential as well as that of female workers." Click for her full column. (Read more women's issues stories.)