MReport April 2019

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 19 of 69

16 | TH E M R EP O RT COVER STORY gender diversity increased earnings by almost 4 percent in the UK. As we become more creative and innovative, we must also consider the largest genera- tion in the U.S. workforce today: millennial workers." Speaking of the initiatives underway at Ellie Mae, Cortez shared that the company is invest- ing in learning and development to counteract and reframe uncon- scious bias and improve our ability to connect with the talent both within Ellie Mae and externally. "We support multiple Employee Resource Groups and host an annual company-wide diversity conference—Stronger Together— which encourages participation in our initiatives and reaffirms com- pany commitments," she added. "Creative thinking and strong team communication is encour- aged when different point of views are brought to the table," said Lori Eshoo, Founder and President, National Tax Search. "Without this, your business risks are stagnation, failure to grow and thrive, low morale and team spirit." Humanizing D&I T he Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, "It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is 11 o'clock on Sunday morning." His statement resonated deeply with those who faced the brunt of exclusion from a spiritual realm that only valued the presence of a select few. Compare this to today's workforce. How much of this segregation has been eradicated in a country that is further diversify- ing by the day is a question that still looms large over a broad spectrum of industries. Urging the need to be more open and human in our approach to such initiatives, Miller said, "There is so much hate these days. I scoff at people who claim to be religious, but spout hate towards people that are different than themselves. It is hypocritical. We are all on this planet together, and therefore need to work together to make it a better place to live. Diverse and inclusive workforces have been empirically shown to outperform businesses that are not, so failing to incorpo- rate D&I will only act as a hindrance to future success." "Recently, we have seen many examples of the high reputational price that companies pay by not leveraging diversity and inclusion in their business decisions. From racial profiling, to false accusations, to the recent examples of racist imagery in product designs at luxury brands— all indicate that having a stronger focus on diversity and inclusion may have helped to stop some of these situations from happening. We can all learn from these stories: diversity and inclusion matters," Oyewole said. "The United States as a whole is becoming more diverse. The percentage of people of color and women entering the workforce is increasing and therefore those companies who embrace diversity will be in a much better position than those who don't," she added. Commenting on the exponential risks that come from ignoring di- versity from an ethical standpoint, Eshoo said, "Your employees may feel they are not in an environ- ment that promotes equality. So many issues come into play such as race, gender, religion, nationality, age, and disabilities. Prejudices can be perceived and negativity festers. As an employer, it is your ethical responsibility to maintain equality and promote a harmonious work- place for all. Provide opportunities for all including workplace and diversity training, equality in terms of hiring and salaries, open com- munication, sensitivity to disabili- ties, work and family balance, just to name a few." Loreli Wilson, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Veterans United Home Loans stated that statistically speaking, predictions indicate that by 2040, people of color will no longer be a numeri- cal minority. "These shifts will continue to require businesses to be responsive to the preferences of their customer base and to be inward facing in their commit- ment to providing a work environment that is conducive to a strong and diversified work- force. At Veterans United, part of our values state, 'We achieve more collectively than we ever could individually.' To us, collective achievement includes having a firm commitment to recruiting and retaining diverse teammates. Ethically, we believe it's just the right thing to do," she added. Different Faces, Different Names: One Common Goal T hose that MReport interviewed agree that to engineer perceptible changes in the D&I landscape, the most important step is to continue the conversation, especially to provide a platform for the underrepresented groups and to give them fair share of opportu- nities to be heard and understood. This will help usher in a purpose- driven workforce moving in harmony to advance their careers without being pigeonholed. "Just the fact that we are talking about diversity and inclusion in our industry is a step forward. However, many organizations and their leaders still struggle with recognizing, accepting and even celebrating the differences in people," said Diana Peterson, President, AuctionWorks. "It is human nature to feel most comfortable with people who look, think, and act like you. It takes honesty and a real effort to recognize this and to treat everyone equally, even when some people's differences make you feel uncomfortable." Addressing the level of exponential growth in knowledge and experience sharing in the last five years, Dr. Amanda Andrade, Chief People Officer, Veterans United Home Loans said, "The transfer of knowledge between businesses and individuals in our industry is a huge advantage in moving D&I programs to new levels." She also indicated that "diversity and inclusion depart- ments are actively becoming an integral part of our industry, which allows all of us to evolve with the demographics of our borrowers and potential employees." "Whether it's celebrating Chinese New Year, Kwanzaa, or Ramadan, among others, we recognize and celebrate these "The United States as a whole is becoming more diverse. The percentage of people of color and women entering the workforce is increasing and therefore those companies who embrace diversity will be in a much better position than those who don't." —Lola Oyewole, Director, Human Resources and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Ocwen Financial Corporation

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of TheMReport - MReport April 2019