Celebrating Women in the Mortgage Industry: Inspiring Insights for 2024

Celebrating Women in the Mortgage Industry: Inspiring Insights for 2024

Nexval Infotech

Nexval Infotech

Women have been historically disadvantaged when it comes to the US mortgage and housing sector, with American women not allowed to finance real estate purchases without a husband or male co-signer until the 1970s.

Despite this, women have made massive strides in just five decades and today comprise a sizable portion of the home purchase industry. The women in leadership gap in the mortgage industry is also shrinking, although there is still a way to go in this direction.

For International Women’s Day 2024, we bring you interesting and vital insights shaping the role of women in the mortgage sector over the next few years.

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The Past and Present of Women in the Mortgage Industry

For a long period, women were unable to obtain a line of credit without their husbands or a male co-signer being present. This locked out the country’s female population from business and investment opportunities, including home ownership. It is only with 1974’s Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) that the trend has reversed, and the mortgage industry has significantly benefited from it.

Over the next few years, the number of women buying homes saw a sharp increase. In 1981, single women comprised 11% of all borrowers, making them the second-largest group behind married couples – a trend that carries on to this day. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, single women are more likely to own a home than single men in 47 out of 50 states. Overall, single women own 2.71 million more houses than men, across the country.

These are truly heartening insights and, beyond only International Women’s Day 2024, should inform legislation and policymaking for years to come.

It should be noted that women are overcoming major odds to increase their share in home ownership. Female professionals today still earn only 82 cents for $1 earned by a man, which systematically holds back their investment capacity. Research shows that of the single women saving for a home, 53% report that high rent delayed their savings and 415 are struggling with student debt.

To further increase homeownership among women, the mortgage industry and national policymaking must work together to create a more favorable economic climate that supports financial empowerment among this group.

Read more: Do’s and Don’ts of Servicing Mortgages for First-Time Homebuyers

Female Representation in Mortgage industry Roles

While the number of female customers has increased dramatically in just 50 years, the same cannot be said for the mortgage industry workforce, where women continue to be underrepresented, especially in leadership roles and traditionally male-dominated fields like construction.

In 1907, when the American Land and Title Association (ALTA) was established, it was called the American Association of Title Men. This changed in 1923, but it wasn’t until 2000 that ALTA had its first female president. Only 3 out of the 17 Secretaries of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have been women – Carla A. Hills (1975 to 1977), Patricia R. Harris (1977 to 1979), and the current HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge.

Here’s another notable insight for International Women’s Day 2024: Harris was also the first African-American woman appointed to the post. She brought about major reforms during her tenure, such as fighting housing discrimination and finding development in inner-city neighborhoods.

Another area with a gender gap is the employment of loan officers in the mortgage industry. Today, 44.7% of all loan officers are women while 55.3% are men. As we move up the ladder, the share of mortgage brokers shrinks to 32.5%. Similarly, female representation among the top 400+ financial service providers stands at 35%, slightly up from 33% in 2020 and 2021.

As we aim for greater diversity and inclusion in the mortgage industry, hiring and retaining women in leadership and decision-making roles is of paramount importance.

Read more: The 2023 Mortgage Market Recap: What We Learned and What to Expect

Inspiring Stories of Women in the Mortgage Industry

For International Women’s Day 2024, we would like to celebrate some of the trailblazing women who are shaping the mortgage industry today. For example, Kristy Williams Fercho was the Head of Home Lending at Wells Fargo up until 2023. Today, she also leads the company’s Diverse Segments, Representation, and Inclusion (DSRI) initiatives.

Thasunda Brown Duckett, former CEO of Chase Consumer Banking (JP Morgan), currently serves as the CEO of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA). She helps deliver secure and outcome-focused financial solutions to those working in mission-driven sectors. She also founded The Rosie and Otis Brown Foundation to highlight individuals and organizations that work to uplift their communities.

Katie Sweeney held leadership positions in the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME), a training institution for mortgage professionals, for over four years. She is now CEO of Broker Action Coalition, which represents the interests of independent mortgage brokers to legislation groups.

Fercho, Duckett, Sweeney, and countless other women are shaping the present and future of the mortgage industry. As innovation and technology become more central to mortgage operations, organizations must urgently prioritize diversity and gender parity from the grassroots to leadership levels.

For International Women’s Day 2024, we would like to thank all the women in the Nexval workforce for their stellar performances and their contributions to delivering industry-best solutions to mortgage companies across the US.

To know more about our culture and solutions, speak with our expert team today. Happy Women’s Day!

Nexval Infotech

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