NEXT, the mortgage tech conference for women, has kicked off, and its leaders began by describing the importance of women in not just mortgage finance, or tech, but in the business world.

Mortgage Bankers Association Chief Operating Officer Marcia Davies took the stage, emphasizing the need to help one another. She explained that not just women, but men also need to work together to bring change to the mortgage tech industry.

“It’s important for you to understand that our journey may be a little different than yours, but that we can all work together,” Davies said, addressing men in the industry.

Davies continued on the emphasize the need for more women in leadership positions in the industry, receiving nods of agreement throughout the room.

While women make up nearly half of the current U.S. workforce, she pointed out only 5.2% make it to the top to become CEOs, despite studies that show having women leaders boosts a company’s bottom line.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us,” Davies said, quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The next two days will be filled with panels discussing the importance of women in the mortgage tech industry, and outlining the general needs within the industry. Stay tuned in to HousingWire to read more about new opportunities in construction lending, and economic outlook, Millennial homebuyers and much more.

In fact, our own Sarah Wheeler, managing editor of content solutions, will be speaking on women and workplace stats at 9:35 a.m. CT. Follow us on Facebook to see Sarah live as she brings us the latest on women in the workplace.

And follow me on Twitter as I bring you the latest from the conference @kels_ramirez, and other members of our newsroom who will also be in attendance: Caroline Basile – @cbasileHW and Jacob Gaffney – @JacobGaffney.

The conference is full of women from all over the U.S., ready to learn the latest trends from the mortgage tech industry, and the next two days should bring the latest trends to the forefront.