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The Bigger Picture of Mortgage Diversity & Inclusion

puzzle-coming-togetherThere is a demographic shift happening within the mortgage profession. In an industry that is so male and white-focused, women and minorities are often passed over for well-deserved positions and promotions, but this idea is being reshaped and redefined right before our eyes.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2014, women make up 46.9 percent of the entire workforce. African-American or blacks occupy 11.4 percent of the workforce, Asians make up 5.7 percent, and Hispanics or Latinos make up 16.1 percent.

There appears to be an even larger disparity between different ethnic groups in the mortgage industry.

In the financial activities sector, African-Americans or blacks account for 9.1 percent of this workforce, Asians make up 6.3 percent, and Hispanics or Latinos make up 11.3 percent, the data showed. The data also found that in the real estate workforce, African-Americans or blacks make up 7.8 percent of this group, Asians account for 3.8 percent, and Hispanics or Latinos make up 14.9 percent.

As part of the Dodd-Frank Act, federal agencies are required to establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI). These offices are responsible for promoting diversity and ensuring the inclusion of minorities and women within management, workforce, and business activities.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released its Office of Minority and Women Inclusion of the CFPB Annual Report for 2015, reporting that women and minority employment increased at the Bureau slightly.

Of the CFPB's 1,507 employees, 36 percent are minorities and 48 percent are women, a yearly increase of 2 percent. Out of the 1,417 non-Hispanic employees at the CFPB, 68 percent self-identified as White, 20 percent as Black/African-American, 9 percent as Asian American, and 3 percent as either American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or belonging to two or more racial groups. This represents a 2 percent increase in Black/African-American representation and a 1 percent decrease in White and Asian representation respectively.

Minorities made up 26 percent of executive leadership positions at the Bureau, while women held 41 percent of those jobs, up 5 percent from 2014, according to the report.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray said, "This year, I am especially pleased with the progress we have made in our workplace diversity initiatives. We have focused on integrating diversity and inclusion into the fabric of the Bureau’s organizational structure and functioning."

He continued, "While we are pleased with the progress, we are well aware that we can make further advances in the areas of diversity and inclusion. With employees who come from a wide range of workplaces, including other federal government agencies, the corporate and non-profit sectors and higher education, as well as a wide spectrum of demographic groups, establishing a shared workplace culture and norms is an ongoing priority for us. The dedication and commitment that our employees from all backgrounds have to our mission continues to be an important point of leverage that we build on to accomplish our goals."

Director of the CFPB's OMWI Stuart Ishimaru added, "With proven leadership commitment, all of these supporting components in place, and with planned improvements to our hiring processes, I believe that the Bureau has positioned itself well to advance diversity and inclusion and to continue to reap the benefits of a variety of perspectives so that it may better serve consumers in America. As I consider the promising future that we have in store for our agency, I look forward to reporting on our progress in the years ahead."

The Five Star Institute also has a wide footprint in furthering the diversity and inclusion agenda in the mortgage industry with the newly announced 2016 Five Star Diversity Symposium and its member organization, the American Mortgage Diversity Council (AMDC).

The inaugural Five Star Diversity Symposium is a day-long event focused on advancing the conversation on diversity within the mortgage industry. The event will be held Thursday, June 16, 2016, at the The Belo Mansion, Dallas, Texas. Headline topics that will be covered at this event include: Thinking Outside the Box: The Future of Diversity in Mortgage Lending, The Bottom Line: The Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion, Incorporating Diversity and Inclusion Practices Into Your Compliance Management Program, Building the Best Team, and The Weakest Link: Issues in Supply Chain Diversity.

Click here to register for the 2016 Five Star Diversity Symposium.

The AMDC, a Five Star Institute member organization, is comprised of executives from various mortgage companies and aims to shape the diversity agenda. The council, launched in June 2015, was created to drive results that support the application and promotion of the mortgage industry’s best diversity practices, and advancing solutions that support initiatives outlined by Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

“The dialogue around diversity in the mortgage industry has not been advanced the way it needs to be,” said Five Star Institute President and CEO Ed Delgado. “Five Star was presented with a tremendous opportunity to fill a leadership void and we will work with our industry partners to set the bar for diversity in the industry.”

Editor's note: The Five Star Institute is the parent company of MReport and TheMReport.com.

About Author: Staff Writer


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