MReport May 2020

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20 | M R EP O RT COVER STORY vendor network—inspectors and contractors—also is diverse. They represent a more than $90 million spend for Safeguard each year," Tackett said. Marti Diaz, Chief Human Resources Officer at Mortgage Contract Services (MCS), said more corporate-sponsored initia- tives around diversity and inclu- sion are being created as com- panies experience benefits from having a diverse workforce. However, Diaz added that, for companies to recruit the best em- ployees, they will need to do more than just host events and "post pictures on social media pages." "Those organizations that can engage their full workforce to embrace diversity and inclusion will realize the most significant, long-term benefits," Diaz said. Sean Ryan, CEO of Aspen Grove Solutions, said the easy part is putting together a diversity program, but the implementation is the challenging part. "We are dealing with people— and, by their nature, people have many differences. While that can be challenging, it is also very excit- ing. We have found that embracing those characteristics that make our team members unique, rather than trying to get everyone to follow the same path, is helpful," Ryan said. "Aspen uses a combination of data to help this effort including personality types, learning styles, and demographics which, when mixed with scheduled one-to-ones, help us to understand the needs of our team members and allows us to work jointly with them to develop career paths that match their personal goals." Diaz said MCS has seen great results around the recruitment, retention, and promotion of di- verse and female candidates. MCS reports that 35% of its management team are minorities and 49% are female. "Our efforts are largely around providing a work environment where everyone can be successful and grow their career. Promoting from within our business has hands-down been our best D&I initiative," Diaz said. Caroline Reaves, the CEO of MCS, has been with the company for 13 years. Diaz said female lead- ers at MCS don't just hear about corporate initiatives—they have an "amazing role model" to watch every day. "Caroline is the biggest cham- pion of our people-development culture, recognizing the impor- tance of an environment where everyone feels comfortable coming to work and where everyone can be successful," Diaz said. "Caroline dedicates one-on-one time with MCS leaders at all levels, providing real-time feedback and coaching. "CEOs who commit to provid- ing that valuable coaching can be an organization's most important D&I asset," Diaz added. Alexander told MReport that diversity and inclusion work when "folks inside the door open the door" and encourage others. "The most organic, sustainable way is when company leadership and company boards recognize the need. It's a talent, just making sure that there are no barriers," Alexander said. "Not intentionally selecting someone because of the way they look or because of their background. But at the end of the day, we're all hearts and brains, and if you just judged everyone on hearts and brains and everything "To get that type of talent pool, you have to see folks with different backgrounds, different ways of thinking, different lifestyles, different ways that they were raised." —Min Alexander, COO and GM, "I have had the absolute pleasure of becoming more involved in the Five Star Institute's AMDC group. One of the things I most admire and respect about the group is that everyone has a voice and everyone matters. This, in my opinion, is diversity and inclusion at its finest." —Jodi Gaines, Chief Client Officer, Insight One Financial "The AMDC is a vehicle for committed leaders to engage in candid discourse regarding critical issues that impact all facets of the mortgage industry, and I am excited at the prospect of the solutions that the Council and its exceptional members will bring to bear in pursuit of increased equity and inclusion across our discipline." —Michael Ruiz, Director, Supplier Diversity, Fannie Mae Corporate Procurement

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