Did you know that the number of women starting businesses today is 114% higher than 20 years ago? Empowering yourself and/or empowering others contributes to the growth of your business, the economy and the creation of more diverse and inclusive workspaces. There are three ways in which you can contribute.
According to the New York-based business magazine Inc., while the statistics about women in the business world may sound very good, it is clear there is still a long way to go. There are multiple factors that hinder women from fully empowering themselves and some of them stem from certain fears that, historically, have taken root in the thinking of many. Recognizing them helps eradicate them.
Many women fear that workplace errors could cost them their jobs, reputations and personal success. Others feel that the challenges that come with a decision to start a family leave them vulnerable in terms of the possibilities for career development and goals. While there are others who still see men as stronger and, therefore, better equipped to achieve success.
If you are a businesswoman, it is time to take more firm steps toward your empowerment. If you have women on your work team, it is up to you to create a culture that strengthens their role in your business or organization.
- Break the myths – Being implacable is not synonymous with success. The author and businesswoman Zeynep Ilgaz wrote in Forbes that early in her career she thought that appearing unrelenting would lead her to success. “I wore slacks to work and rarely dared to speak about my family. But one day I decided to stop pretending. I began to speak about my family with clients and, to my surprise, people began to relate with me, our relationships were strengthened, and the culture of the business became incredibly transparent.”
- Make peace with your mistakes – Accepting and, of course, learning from mistakes made does not make you weaker. Not doing so leads to a lack of transparency in organizations and the creation of inefficient processes, according to Ilgaz, who firmly maintains that mistakes represent an opportunity to learn and improve as people and businesspeople.
- Bet on mentoring – Practicing and, above all, promoting mentoring in your business is an investment that will return strong dividends. It is a proven fact that the opportunities for women to succeed in the workplace increase when they have mentors.
“Mentoring is a lever that we can activate to enable more women to advance in their jobs, help them to obtain access to economic and financing opportunities that they would otherwise miss out on, and be better prepared for opportunities when they arise,” Pat Mitchel wrote for TED, the renowned organization dedicated to spreading ideas through succinct and powerful TED Talks chats.
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