MortgagePoint June2023

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 35 of 83

MortgagePoint » Your Trusted Source for Mortgage Banking and Servicing News 34 June 2023 C O V E R F E A T U R E our Community Homeownership Commitment, through which we offer up to $17,500 in down payment and closing cost grants across the Bank of America footprint. We're also working with strategic multicultural trade and nonprofit partners to drive awareness of Bank of America offerings to create awareness for potential homebuyers who never envisioned homeownership as a possibility. Tai Christensen, Director, Chief Diversity and Public Relations Officer, Arrive Home; Chair, American Mortgage Diversity Council: At Arrive Home, we are continuing to focus on expanding homeownership to minority, underserved communities. The racial homeownership gap will not completely close in 2023, but we are committed to doing everything we can to help begin to bridge this gap by creating more sustainable minority homeowners through our down payment assistance and special purpose credit programs. Jose Morin, VP of Servicing, Brace; Council Member, American Mortgage Diversity Council: Brace is ensuring that our products and services are designed to be inclusive and accessible to all borrowers, regardless of their background or identity. Q: What headwinds have you seen surrounding D&I/DEI's commitment and implementation within the mortgage industry? Anderson: We've made a concerted effort to not only advance D&I within our company but to promote diversity in the housing industry. As economic and housing conditions continue to evolve, I believe we as an industry will be better poised to withstand the headwinds if the housing industry's workforce better reflects the diversity of the nation and the homebuyers and renters we serve. Barkley: Critical to our work is to build awareness of programs we offer to support diverse community homeownership as well as to the hiring and recruiting of diverse talent to ensure strong representation in our workforce. We are working shoulder-to-shoulder with local partners and community members to ensure we are building trust and delivering on commitments. Christensen: Diversity and inclusion has been a longstanding issue within the mortgage industry. Since 2020, much has been done to highlight DEI efforts and shed light on initiatives, such as the Black Homeownership Collaborative, that aim to increase the number of black and brown homeowners. Having said that, the mortgage industry still faces headwinds that hinder progress. There is a lack of diverse individuals represented in top leadership positions across our industry. Many studies have shown that having diverse leaders and team members not only increases bottom- line revenue but also increases employee retention and recruitment of new employees. Increasing diversity in our industry will require a commitment to implementing meaningful and sustained changes in hiring practices, company culture, and leadership that are committed to creating balanced change. The ROI of DEI: What's New With the American Mortgage Diversity Council O riginally, the American Mortgage Diversity Council (AMDC) was designed to be an organization that affected change from the top down, gathering the most influential compa- nies together and using their combined forces to implement diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across the mortgage industry. Over the years, we've gotten feedback from individuals who want to be a part of that change but don't work for those major companies. We've also heard from many individuals within the DEI movement that the No. 1 metric that their companies request is the ROI of D&I. To address these needs, we've expanded AMDC beyond being just the American Mortgage Diversity Council. We've added the American Mortgage Diversity Community, which is an individual- level membership. Last year, we launched the American Mortgage Diversity Certification. Together these form AMDC—cubed. The individual member receives access to the certification and most benefits, including the ability to serve on the Advisory Council and on AMDC committees. The certification focuses on three areas of DEI: the internal initiatives; external initiatives such as capturing more market share by reaching diverse groups and speaking to them in a more intentional way; and the "why" of DEI—the authentic reasons behind the movement and how to live them out within your work and personal life. The first certification class was hosted at the 2022 Five Star Conference in Dallas, Texas. This year, we are focusing on incorporating AMDC into the other realms of the Five Star Institute—our Legal League and FORCE membership groups, our webinars, panels, and more. Instead of being a separate entity, AMDC's work is now woven into every aspect of the Five Star Institute. While cutbacks are requiring many companies to reduce resources for DEI, we want to use our influence to fill that gap and provide the information and community that will foster DEI throughout the mortgage industry. Some new initiatives include AMD Community Conversations and AMD Certification OnDemand. Starting in June, we will be inviting members of AMDC to a virtual conversation, occurring monthly, that will provide an opportunity for discussion, sharing of best practices, and a community of support. In July, we will be launching the AMD Certification OnDemand, allowing members to take the certification even if they do not have time to join the in-person course at this year's Five Star Conference.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of TheMReport - MortgagePoint June2023