The right to vote, the cornerstone of democracy, belongs to all citizens — but this wasn’t always the case. Until recently, most countries denied voting rights to half of their population: women. To claim their voice, women began agitating for the right to vote in the early 19th century. In the U.S., decisions about who could vote were left up to the states. The 19th Amendment, ratified in 1920, ensures voting rights for everyone regardless of gender.
The continuous struggle for women’s participation and equality in all spheres of life and society is observed on Women’s Equality Day on August 26th. Since 1971, the day has commemorated the passage of women’s suffrage in the U.S. and reminds us of the hurdles overcome by the heroic women who faced violence and discrimination to propel the women’s movement forward.
Today, Women’s Equality Day celebrates the achievements of women’s rights activists and reminds us of the unique daily struggles that women face. To make sure women are not oppressed by anyone we need to empower them with education and to support their education they require funds that can help build a base for their strong future.
Women aren’t done fighting for equal rights, though, especially in the mortgage industry. Out of the 216,000+ mortgage loan officers in working in the United States, only 43.7% are women. That is not the only inequality in this industry: for every $1 made by men, women earn 88 cents. This month at USA Mortgage, we are exploring the role of women in the industry and within our company.
For decades, women have filled many roles in the mortgage industry, but the climb to the C-Suite has always been difficult and nearly unattainable. Over the years, women have begun to channel their efforts toward professional networking and actively lobbying for positions in profit-driven areas with growth potential and have learned the value of stepping up to challenges and taking chances.
Female leadership can understand and represent the unique perspectives and dreams of women who want to make mortgage banking their career. Women leaders have high emotional intelligence, they value work-life balance, tend to be more empathetic, more flexible and nurturing. All of this has been shown to significantly bolster a firm’s bottom line. It is important for women to see other women in leadership roles. As succession planning continues at USA Mortgage, we will strive to diversify the representation amongst our executive team.
Every day at the Home of Possibility, we continue to explore the role of women in the mortgage industry and within the DAS Family. USA Mortgage prioritizes creating a fair environment, including equal compensation between genders. We recruit without bias, provide mentorship opportunities, and encourage internal promotions with a focus on elevating the most qualified yet most underrepresented team members.
If you are a female leader in this industry, hold the door open for the next woman and the next generation.