DS News

MortgagePoint June2023

DSNews delivers stories, ideas, links, companies, people, events, and videos impacting the mortgage default servicing industry.

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Page 33 of 83

MortgagePoint » Your Trusted Source for Mortgage Banking and Servicing News 32 June 2023 C O V E R F E A T U R E BETTER TOGETHER: THE IMPORTANCE OF A DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE WORKFORCE Experts discuss the importance of D&I strategies in the workforce, in business, and throughout the mortgage industry, highlighting the strategies utilized to promote equity in the U.S. housing system for renters and homeowners nationwide. B y D E M E T R I A C . L E S T E R T he mortgage industry sits at the in- tersection of two important aspects of diversty & inclusion (D&I) or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). On the one hand, the industry is working to broaden and diversify its workforce, with the benfits of D&I being spotlighted by organiza- tions such as Five Star's American Mortgage Diversity Council. Second, and perhaps even more important, the mortgage industry, at its core, is designed to work towards the expan- sion and sustainability of the American Dream of homeownership, with many mortgage pro- fessionals working to help extend that Dream to segments of the American population who have been historically underrepresented in both homeownership and the system of gen- erational wealth it supports. For this month's edition of MortgagePoint, we chatted with several industry experts to discuss the importance of DEI/D&I within the mortgage industry, the headwinds this sector is currently facing amid a challenging economy, and how some of our interviewed experts are working with Five Star's American Mortgage Diversity Council to champion these important topics and build a brighter, more diverse future for the American system of homeownership. For this month's cover feature, we are excited to share insights from representatives of Bank of America, Fannie Mae, Brace, and Arrive Home. Together, they discuss how DEI/D&I can translate to business success and how the future of mortgage will continue— and must continue—to evolve to incorporate more diversity both within and without. Q: Within the D&I space, what initiatives have you been focused on in 2023? Sharifa A. Anderson, SVP and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Fannie Mae: At Fannie Mae, diversity and inclusion (D&I) are deeply embedded into everything we do, and we remain committed to creating measurable, positive D&I outcomes for our workforce, business, industry, and nation. Through our Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OWMI), we're not only focused on promoting access internally through workforce opportunities, but we're also focused on serving populations historically underserved by the housing finance system and removing barriers to homeownership and rental housing. We recognize that our efforts to progress economic inclusion are even more important in the current economic environment. AJ Barkley, Head of Neighborhood and Community Lending, Bank of America: We continue to drive and expand D E M E T R I A C . L E S T E R is a reporter for MortgagePoint magazine with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at demetria.lester@thefivestar.com.

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