Breaking the Barriers : Women in mortgage
Women professionals are increasingly breaking through the glass ceiling. Going toe-to-toe with men, they are venturing out in every possible direction to carve a niche for themselves.
Times are changing and so are perspectives. Today, women are seen indispensable to business success. In fact, research-based consulting firm Gallup points out that with women on top, businesses have a significant probability of success.
This is true for all industries, including mortgage, which has primarily been a male-dominated sector. It is, however, witnessing a gradual tectonic shift in its talent composition. An increasing number of women are entering this once men-governed arena and changing it too.
Traditionally, the sector was associated with simply sales, with no space for customer service, quality control, and compliance. This one-dimensional outlook and shortsightedness rendered the industry cold and too masculine.
But today, this trend is being challenged by confident women professionals who are diving into hardcore sales — an activity previously deemed fit for only men.
There have been other changes too. Post 2008-financial crisis, the mortgage Software industry is steering towards offering better and more customized customer service that meets specific needs and objectives with a higher degree of professionalism, integrity and open communication. The focus has shifted from quantity to quality. And interestingly, to be successful in such a quality-based environment, one needs characteristics that are often associated with women.
Here, let me jot down a few traits that women leaders who have made a mark in the mortgage industry possess. Let’s take a look:
- Skilled communicators: Women have been termed to have superior communication skills. One reason is, they are great listeners. A research even drew the conclusion that when it comes to sales, women spend 80 per cent of their time listening and only 20 per cent in talking. This enables them to connect better with people. It works in their favor, especially for a mortgage industry where a personal, human touch can be an added advantage.
- Multi-taskers- To survive in the mortgage world, it is imperative that people know to juggle tasks well. From prospecting to servicing, professionals cannot simply work in silos. Here again, women have a great deal of advantage due to their inherent trait of being able to multi-task easily as a homemaker too. Researchers believe women may possess a higher level of cognitive control compared to men — especially when it comes to planning, monitoring and inhibiting behavior.
- Inspirational leaders: According to Inc. Magazine, 46 per cent of the privately held companies in the US are half-owned by women and over 650 companies on the ‘Inc. 5000 list’ of 2015 are led by them. Women with their exceptional time management and great communication skills are indeed inspiring leaders. According to a Pew Research Center study, women typically make fairer, more compassionate and trustworthy leaders than men do.
The mortgage industry may be a difficult place to be in for females, but strong-willed, confident women are trying to crush the age-old male dominance nonetheless. A mix of tenacity, great communication skills, focus, and sharp business acumen will break the glass ceiling for them here too.