The number of women in leadership positions is growing. However, according to a study published by MIT Sloan Management Review, men still outnumber women almost three to one in the top 100 places in Fortune 100 companies.

But, what's interesting is how the women in those positions got there, and it's something pretty straightforward that you can do as well to boost your careers.

They quit.

That's right.

It turns out that women executives changed companies more often than their male counterparts and arrived in senior roles two to four years faster than men.

While the researchers (Monika Hamori, Rocio Bonet, Peter Cappelli, and Samidha Sambare) note that they can't identify the exact reason why, even though women still lag behind men, those that do, do so faster, changing companies is a massive part of it.

To keep your high-performing talent in-house, you must be prepared to treat your employees like quitters. Here's what this means. 

Recognize accomplishments

Do you have a tuition reimbursement program? Or do any of your employees go out and earn a degree? What do you do when someone graduates?

If they quit and move to a new company, that new company will see the person as the shiny new grad with experience and treat them as such. You may see them just as an employee who did a thing but still needs to do the same thing today as they did yesterday.

Instead, open up opportunities for new grads to move up when they finish that degree. Reward with actions, titles, and paychecks, not just a cake and some kind words.

Likewise, if one of your employees does a fabulous presentation at a conference, understand that your competitors are looking to poach--especially women, as Hamori et al. found that investors are looking for companies with women in leadership.

Give high raises

Did you know the average raise now amounts to a negative 2 percent in spending power after adjusting for inflation? On the other hand, over half of the people who change jobs see almost a 10 percent increase.

Here's the secret: you won't save money by giving stingy raises. Why? Because your best employees will leave you for your competitor and to replace them, you'll have to pay the market rate, plus recruitment and training costs. If you'd just given the raise in the first place, you increase your chances of keeping your high-performing employees.

Forget stereotypes

One of the reasons for the increase in women at the top of the Fortune 100 is a shift in industry. Whereas the Fortune 100 companies in the 1980s were manufacturing and steel, today's top industries are more likely to be financial services, health care, insurance, and retail. 

But that doesn't mean some companies are only suited for male leadership. The study found:

But industry is not destiny. Some Fortune 100 players in traditionally male sectors have relatively high percentages of female executives. For instance, women hold more than half of the top positions (58%) at Northrop Grumman, a defense and aerospace company. Caterpillar, Ford, and Phillips 66, also in male-dominated industries, have higher proportions of women in these roles than average.

Look for knowledge, skills, and abilities. Your company will be better off.

So, if you're a business owner trying to keep women--and any high-performing employee--your best chances are above. If you're a woman who wants a corner office? Don't worry about leaving if your company doesn't treat you well. Success can come your way with this one simple trick: move on.