As we celebrate International Women’s day, data shows that women still face impediments in reaching executive or senior-level positions even in female-dominated industries such as real estate. Despite the fact that women account for 67 percent of all real estate agents, only 46 percent of non-selling broker-owners are women, according to the National Association of Realtors ’ Member Profile Report .
The Proverbial Glass Ceiling
The Coldwell Banker’s Examining Women and Leadership Survey  found that 34 percent of Americans—both men and women—working in female-dominated industries agree that women face a 'glass ceiling,' curbing their chances of leadership.
Looking at the other end of the spectrum, interestingly, 14 percent of men working in female-dominated industries already hold an executive level position, compared to only 8 percent of women—which is a stark 75 percent difference. Data also indicate that we function in an environment that is more conducive for men to ask for a raise or a promotion compared to women. Forty-two percent of women working in female-dominated industries agree they would be hesitant to ask for a raise or promotion even if they met most or all of the qualifications, and among men, it is 37 percent. The results revealed in the survey is a call to redefine how we think of diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives and to understand how distinct the nature of diversity and inclusion are.
Diversity and Inclusion: Expert Insights
Organizations across sectors are investing heavily in bringing in a diverse pipeline of talent. However, examining D&I in the workplace, the report revealed that nearly 64 percent of U.S. adults agree that working for a company that has female representation at the executive level is important to them, yet 41 percent agree that at their company, women have to work harder than men to earn an executive level position—pointing to a lack of diversity and more importantly, inclusion.
Lola Oyewole, Director, Human Resources and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Ocwen Financial Corporation told MReport, “Having a diverse workforce is important but what’s even more important is creating a culture where people feel that the diversity they bring is welcomed and that they can thrive in that environment. Having a diverse and inclusive workforce means that you leverage a greater variety of backgrounds, talent, and experiences that enable businesses to have higher flexibility in adapting to dynamic markets.”
Sharing her insights with us on the importance of D&I, Diana Peterson, President, SVN AuctionWorks said, “Not only are there significant legal and ethical risks associated with failing to have a strong focus on diversity and inclusion, but it is also just plain bad for business. If advertising and/or hiring practices are not inclusive, the organization will suffer. In short, since the world is diverse, organizations need to be inclusive in order to reach their full potential.”
To learn more about to cultivate an inclusive workforce, stay tuned for our cover story on Diversity and Inclusion in the April issue of MReport.
Diversity: Why Is it Good for Business?
Reiterating its commitment to diversity and inclusion initiatives, on March 19 between 12-1 p.m. CDT, the MReport webinar entitled “Diversity: Why Is It Good for Business?” will explore what diversity means from a financial and ethical perspective. Presented by VRM Mortgage Services, the webinar will discuss diversity and customer orientation, inclusive practices for employee retention, making diversity and inclusion your competitive differentiator, and quantifying D&I initiatives. Not only are diverse companies more likely to have better financial returns but are more successful overall. Join our panel of experts for this complimentary webinar as they make the business case for diversity & inclusion in the mortgage industry.
“Diversity is a fact, inclusion is a choice. The question is, ‘How are you using diversity and inclusion to gain a sustained competitive advantage?’ Charmaine Brown, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Fannie Mae told MReport earlier. And that is the larger question that must be collectively answered by an industry wherein women are still walking the glass ceiling.
Click here  to register for the webinar.