Women In Housing-2015

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feature 14 | Th e M Rep o RT Finding a Work-Life Balance S ome executives in the industry feel motherhood and familial obligations could play a role in the lack of female representation in the board room, while others say it's just a matter of time man- agement, knowing your priorities and making the right choices. "For any executive woman, I think that we suffer from mother's guilt," Dillard said. "I don't necessarily always think that my male peers suffer from it. We want to be there and do those things with our kids and sometimes it's hard to do. Most of my colleagues that are women, we all suffer from that—wanting to be there." Corley said she thinks family demands may affect a woman's willingness to network, too—a crucial part of moving up the corporate ladder. "Networking seems to be something that women tend to prioritize very low," Corley said. "When you're trying to do that balancing act between work and home life, the thought of going to a happy hour or some type of networking event isn't appealing. It's time when you're not in the office and it's time when you're not with your family. Unfortunately, I think those are some of the types of activities that would potentially lead to career advancement opportunities, and open doors and connections." But Lewis said that it's all a matter of choices. "People do what they want to do," Lewis said. "At the end of the day you have choices, and I do believe you can raise children and be a great parent but also be a professional and work with excellence and not have to sacrifice time." Lewis said she has found that working smartly, as well as having a great team around her, is the key to juggling a family life and a career as an executive in the industry. "It's working smartly, working wisely," Lewis said. "It's having great people to work with, and not taking everything on yourself. The workload doesn't have to all be on me." Corley says self-awareness is key, too. "I think everyone needs to understand and really be self-aware of what they can do and what they can't do," Corley said. "I try to think of work or your career as a marathon, not a sprint. And as in a marathon, there are times when you're going to be running a whole lot faster and there are times when you need to slow it down a bit." Moving Forward W hile the numbers of women in the workforce—and the mortgage indus- try specifically—have seen growth over the past few decades, it seems there's still room for improvement. "I definitely think there's been some growth for women," Lewis said. "Is it as fast as I'd like to see it? No. But I definitely think there's been some growth, and I think there's growth still going on. Hopefully potential women leaders will continue to step up and fight for those key decision making positions as we move forward." Phillips said she believes they will. "Now that the industry is moving from a sales-driven business model—and sales tends to be a male-dominated arena—to one that values operations and compliance, I believe we will begin seeing more women in execu- tive positions," Phillips said. Lewis agreed. "I do think the industry is just not as open for women as it is for men," Lewis said. "I think women have to fight harder for it, but I think they will. They'll be up to the challenge to do it. I think 20 years from now we're going to see a completely dif- ferent mix of genders, and it will be much different than it is today." Aly J. yAle is a freelance writer and editor based in Fort Worth, Texas. She has worked for various newspapers, magazines, and publications across the nation, including the Dallas Morning News and Addison Magazine. She has also worked with both the Five Star Institute and REO Red Book, as well as various other mortgage industry clients. "Traditionally, women in the mortgage industry rise up the ranks through the operational environment, as processors, underwriters, administrators." —Marcia Phillips, CEO at Guardian Mortgage Company 47 % Women represent 47 percent of the U.S. workforce. (Female Style in Corporate Leadership study) 9 % Females represent less than 9 percent of top management positions in the country. (University of Maryland and Columbia Business School study) 60 % Women earn 60 percent of all undergraduate degrees and master's degrees in the U.S. (College Atlas) 24 % They account for 24 percent of CEOs in the U.S. (Bureau of Labor Statistics) 22.2 % Only 22.2 percent of directors in the finance and insurance sector are female. (Catalyst) 16 % Women hold 16 percent of Fortune 500 board seats. (Catalyst) 43 % 43 percent of Americans say women are held to higher standards than men. 23 % 23 percent say family responsibilities get in the way. 9 % 9 percent say they aren't tough enough. 42 % Female executives, directors, and CEOs make an average of 42 percent less than their male counterparts. (The Gender Gap in Executive Compensation study) 2 % Women represent only 2 percent of CEOs and 16 percent of corporate directors at Fortune 500 companies. (Catalyst) 44 % 44 percent of Americans believe women will hold as many top positions as men in the future. (Pew) Women, education & the Workforce Women in Leadership Why are Women under- represented?

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