Women in brokerage aren’t common, but Rocket Pro TPO aims to change that. By integrating programs that enhance inclusivity, the company encourages female leadership. HousingWire recently spoke with Keri Stichler, Divisional Vice President at Rocket Pro TPO, about why female leadership is crucial in the mortgage industry and how companies can advocate for inclusivity.
HousingWire: How common is female leadership across the industry? Why do you think this is?
Keri Stichler: Female leadership is not common. The biggest reason is that some women may feel discouraged by the “boys club” atmosphere that was prevalent in the industry for so many years. Not being included for a long time can leave one disheartened.
I am proud to work for Rocket Pro TPO and Rocket Companies because we advocate for enhanced diversity, equity and inclusion both inside our business and in the industry as a whole. At our organization, you are valued for your skills and experience and the success you can bring to our partners.
HW: Why is female leadership vital to the mortgage industry?
KS: Different backgrounds – whether that is gender, race, ethnicity or anything else – gives a diversity of thought. It brings new perspectives and new ways of thinking about things. That different perspective often brings innovation and disruption to conventional ways of doing business.
It also encourages women in other industries, and young professionals deciding their path, to pursue a mortgage career if they think it’s right for them. Seeing women in the industry gives them the confidence that they are right for any role.
HW: What steps could lenders take to encourage and increase female leadership?
KS: A first step is awareness. Nothing can be done if you don’t talk about it. From there, you can find the best ways to increase opportunities for women – and all diverse groups.
At Rocket Companies, we have made leadership positions available for everyone in the organization to interview for the open role. This process assures that the role goes to the most qualified person, no matter their current role and no matter their background.
I think all companies should look at what they currently do – from recruiting, to networking and promotions – and find what will work best for them.
HW: How is Rocket Pro TPO empowering women to lead in the industry?
KS: Rocket Pro TPO created the “Rocket Accelerator” program, designed to encourage and highlight team members at our company and other women who are excelling in their respective industry.
We are doing this in many ways, like adding value with educational programs, increasing mentorship opportunities and creating high-profile public partnerships like with our Paretta Autosport sponsorship in the Indianapolis 500. The No. 16 Rocket Pro TPO Chevrolet was owned and driven by women and supported by a majority-women pit crew.
There is much more to come in the Rocket Accelerator program and I’m excited to continue on this important mission.
Diversity is key to a company’s success. That’s why Rocket Pro TPO is increasing female leadership in the mortgage industry and increasing opportunities for women.