We couldn’t agree more; however, we also believe the financial industry, and, specifically, the mortgage industry, is decades behind other industries as it relates to represen- tation and equality in the ranks of women in leadership roles. We’re dedicated to
To launch Mortgage WOMEN Magazine’s efforts to empower, inspire, encourage, and teach
mortgage women, we’ve selected a ‘baker’s dozen’ of the women who own and lead prominent
U.S. mortgage companies for our feature. These 13 accomplished women represent a broad
diversity of credentials, experiences, and backgrounds; however, they share many qualities such as a
dedication to the success of their companies, facilitating the “American dream” for their customers,
and providing robust support to their employees. They value perseverance, work-life balance, and
managing the challenges of today’s mortgage business without losing sleep!
Some U.S. companies have made it a priority to foster a balance of gender diversity in roles at
all levels; however, there appears to be a chronic deficit of women in top decision-making posi-
tions and company ownership across the financial industry. When Janet Yellen was confirmed as
the first woman to run the U.S. Federal Reserve, Forbes Brand Voice observed in April 2014 that,
in spite of it, “the financial industry suffers from a shortage of female executives.”
The lack of opportunities for women in the financial industry is not only bad for women who
desire leadership roles, but for companies, too. In a study of boardroom diversity, the research
showed that there is a very clear relationship between organizations with strong financial perfor-
mance, a higher percentage of women in executive leadership teams, and a high-performance cul-
ture (PA Consulting, 2013). Forbes Magazine reported in August 2014 that companies do better
with women leaders.
The lack of opportunities is further compounded by a lack of visibility for companies that are
women-owned and women-run. Womenable, an organization dedicated to improving the environment for women-owned businesses worldwide, relates in its 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses report that women are majority owners of nearly one-in-three U.S. firms and:
• The number of women-owned firms in the U.S. continues to climb and is now estimated
to have surpassed 9. 4 million enterprises – 30% of all businesses in the country;
• The revenue generated by these enterprises is now estimated to stand at nearly $1.5 tril-
lion and has increased by 79% since 1997; and
• Women-owned firms now employ over 7. 9 million workers (excluding owners), providing
one-in-seven jobs among privately-owned businesses.
The report further shows that the number of women-owned firms is increasing at a rate
1-1/2 times the national average; however, the proportion of women-owned firms in the Finance
and Insurance industry sector trail nearly all others at 2.1%. The highest sector is Health Care and
Social Assistance at 16.8% and the lowest is Wholesale Trade at 1.6%.
The 13 mortgage women featured this month are indicative of the rise of women-owned and
women-run U.S. businesses. They represent just the tip of the iceberg, though, of women employed in all areas of the mortgage banking industry from loan origination to closing and beyond in
all integral roles. They are laboring each day to break the glass ceilings, to shape the culture within
their companies, and to take their rightfully-earned places in industry leadership.