In the wake of the recent calls for racial justice and the Supreme Court ruling that protects workers from being discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender, diversity and inclusion is top of mind for many individuals and businesses.
The mortgage industry has been historically dominated by white men, and active steps must be taken to improve this. Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities to attract more diverse talent.
At Quicken Loans Mortgage Services (QLMS), there is an understanding that diversity and inclusion is a business imperative. This effort is a need-to-do, not a nice-to-do.
“Time and time again, the data consistently shows us that more diverse workforces perform better in terms of innovation and service,” said Austin Niemiec, executive vice president of QLMS. “We understand when our team is filled with individuals from a wealth of backgrounds, it expands the scope in which we think. This allows us to continue innovating and pushing the boundary of our current frame of reference.”
QLMS is proud to partner with a diverse set of brokers, which broadens the pool of potential clients they serve together. By creating a truly robust network that reflects all corners of the country, it ensures the lender is serving as many homeowners as possible – especially those who have been historically ignored by the housing finance industry.
“We want to make sure we are giving as many citizens as possible the opportunity to access and achieve the American dream of homeownership,” Niemiec said. “To do this, it means making sure we have an extremely diverse partner network. While there is still work to be done here, we are making intentional steps toward becoming better – which means we are, at the least, headed in the right direction.”
QLMS is a lender impacting the outcome; however, there is a broader, industry-wide effort to improve. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee, which Quicken Loans Vice Chairman Bill Emerson helped create.
The committee is dedicated to ensuring the housing finance industry gains a competitive edge through increasing diversity and inclusion throughout – meaning leaders, team members, vendors and more. It focuses on how to recruit and retain talent, bias education, creating inclusive environments and implementing resource networks at lenders.
“At QLMS and the Rock Family of Companies, we are fortunate to have leaders on our team dedicated to helping us become better in the diversity and inclusion space on a daily basis,” Niemiec said.
“Our Chief Diversity Officer Trina Scott, who is also a board member on the MBA’s D&I committee, makes sure that we are intentionally creating initiatives and programs that will impact the outcome for the better. One thing she has taught us is that this mission is a marathon, not a sprint, and it takes constant focus and drive. We hope the entire industry takes the necessary time to work toward meaningful change.”