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MortgagePoint May 2024

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MortgagePoint » Your Trusted Source for Mortgage Banking and Servicing News 30 May 2024 F E A T U R E S T O R Y FINDING A POSITIVE PATH FORWARD Amid political controversy and budgetary cutbacks, experts discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies' role in today's marketplace as both the American homeownership landscape and workforce continue to diversify and undergo significant demographic shifts. B y D E M E T R I A C . L E S T E R " T here are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. There are not more than five primary colors, yet in combination, they produce more hues than can ever be seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combi- nations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted."—Sun Tzu Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese military general, strategist, philosopher, and writer might not be the person you would expect to turn to for insights into the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI, sometimes referred to alternatively as D&I/diversity & inclu- sion). Nevertheless, the quote above succinctly gets at the heart of many of the arguments made by modern proponents of DEI practices in business, including The Five Star Institute's own American Mortgage Diversity Council (AMDC). Sharifa A. Anderson, SVP and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Fannie Mae, told MortgagePoint, "We are navigating a moment of heightened backlash against D&I, with D&I-related litigation on the rise and the number of states introducing and passing legislation that limits D&I initiatives growing. Organi- zations committed to D&I have to reclaim the confusing narratives about what D&I is and is not. In this moment, clarity around the business case for D&I and what we are trying to accomplish is critical. D&I has always meant equal opportunity and inclusion at Fannie Mae, and our commit- ment to D&I, like many other companies, remains strong. For us, D&I isn't just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do." For this month's cover story, Mort- gagePoint connected with DEI sub- ject-matter experts from Fannie Mae, the financial services law firm of McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce, Precedent Man- agement, and U.S. Bank. These experts address why D&I/DEI strategies remain a focus as both the American landscape of homeowners and the American work- force continue to diversify and undergo significant demographic shifts. Mapping the Landscape of DEI/D&I D EI organizational structures are designed to encourage the equita- ble treatment and full participation of all persons, particularly those who have traditionally been underrepresented or susceptible to discrimination based on identity or disability. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), no more than 20% of professionals in the finance industry identify as non-white. According to the 2024 Diversity and Inclusion Global Strategic Business Report, the global D&I market—which was anticipated to be worth $10.9 billion in 2023—is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.6% between 2023 and 2030. Overall, whites make up 77% of the U.S. labor force, while Blacks and Asians accounted for an additional 13% and 7%, respectively. American Indians and Alas- ka Natives made up 1% of the labor force, while Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders accounted for over half. People of two or more races accounted for 2% of the labor force. Organizations across the mortgage industry continue to develop strategies to D E M E T R I A C . L E S T E R is a reporter for MortgagePoint with more than eight years of writing and editing 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 a jazz aficionado, a Harry Potter fanatic, and likes to read. She can be reached at demetria.lester@thefivestar.com.

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