As women continue to face inequality in traditional businesses, they are simply branching out and starting their own businesses. Women make up nearly half of the workforce, so if businesses want to retain female employees rather than suddenly seeing them become the competition, they will need to work harder to create a more favorable work environment for women. One that empowers women rather than embitters them. Here are three ways to empower the women that work with you.

Make Sure Their Voices Are Heard

In the early 21st century, the women’s activewear industry grew by leaps and bounds. Yet one of the biggest names in activewear, Nike, inexplicably struggled to gain a real foothold. In early 2018, a packet of informal questionnaires completed by women at Nike landed on CEO Mark Parker’s desk, which revealed a long standing pattern of alleged abuse by male executives towards female executives and employees. Nike very likely lost out on a decade or more of significant profits from a burgeoning market by failing to listen to their female employees. 

Create An Environment of Mentorship vs. Competition

Many businesses operate under an outdated paradigm that creating competition among employees is the best way to motivate them. In the somewhat cutthroat world of business, it may seem counterintuitive to believe that creating an atmosphere of harmony and connectedness can actually increase performance rather than decreasing it. When you stop creating competition among employees, however, you free them up to focus on the competition that really matters – outside competition from other businesses.

Create Dual-Gendered Mentorship Programs

Many businesses relegate the role of female mentorship to women and male mentorship to men or only have male mentors. In truth, women benefit just as much from male mentorship as they do from female mentorship, yet they gain something beneficial from both. Men can also benefit from the mentorship of women, yet many men still chafe under the idea of taking any kind of tips, pointers, education or wisdom from women. By creating dual-gendered mentorship programs, however, you can help create a far better and more balanced system of mentorship.