Women underrepresented in mortgage industry?

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More than half of poll participants in a recent BMO Wealth Management survey believe women face a ‘glass ceiling’ in the financial services industry and one broker believes the same applies to mortgage brokers.

“I think women are underrepresented in the higher levels (though) we do have many women in the mortgage industry who are doing very, very well,” Deb White, owner of Dominion Lending Centres White House Mortgages told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I do agree (that financial services needs more women); the reason being that, ironically, when my clients come to me they feel very comfortable that it’s a woman speaking to them because it’s like the mom figure.”

However, the BMO study found that 83 per cent of Canadians feel women are treated more equitably than in the past 20 years. Despite this, 66 per cent say men still have more career opportunities in financial services and 85 per cent feel the financial services industry should do more to promote a more healthy work/life balance for women.

"While our industry has definitely become more aware of some of the challenges female employees face and continues to address them, the job is by no means done," Charyl Galpin, co-head, BMO Nesbitt Burns said of the study. "It's incumbent on both men and women to 'be the change' on a daily basis. Having HR policies which make it easier for women to pursue a career in financial services is an important step, but we all have a role to play in ensuring that gender equity is the norm in all workplaces."

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  • Lance on 2014-03-10 11:50:40 AM

    Don't even get me started!!!

  • Kaern Deis on 2014-03-10 12:06:44 PM

    That's one of the reasons we have a group called www.MortgageGirlfriends.com

  • Kevin on 2014-03-10 1:23:28 PM

    During my long career in financing I have came across many women in the financial industry. There are many in senior positions and career oriented. The majority of the others especially in mortgage brokering enter the industry ill prepared as to what the industry requires. Many choose the financial industry as a part time job. It is like any other industry, you get back what you put in. I personally think a woman has an equal chance if they want to make it a career.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-03-10 2:24:40 PM

    @ Kevin.... that is a borderline misogynistic statement, lack of preparation is true of ALL newcomers to mortgage brokering not just women.

    Let's just face the facts about the senior position stuff, their has NEVER been a female CEO of a Canadian Bank. Never is a very long time. If that is not a clear bias it is an incredibly good imitation of one.

  • Lance on 2014-03-10 2:35:27 PM

    @Ron. Did you miss my stmt? Don't get me started??

  • Ron Butler on 2014-03-10 2:40:18 PM

    @ Lance ....... sorry but I don't really worry about odd, cryptic posts that make no sense.

  • John on 2014-03-10 3:48:38 PM

    Johanne Brossard CEO ING Direct Bank of Canada 2003 to 2008

  • Ron Butler on 2014-03-10 3:52:51 PM

    @ John..... big 5 banks: zero since Confederation, long time coming.

  • alexander on 2014-03-11 5:30:29 AM

    why many women don't take up mortgage broker jobs? because many that I know are more risk adverse than men. therefore safer. not many women are willing to risk their families wellbeing with a commissioned sales role in what is perhaps one of the most agressive sales careers out their. From what I see, men are more willing to take up comissioned roles and are higher risk takers. Women; especially women with dependants, will not want to take up roles in which it could take months to close a deal or have fluctuating pay cheques of nothing in 1 month to 15000 a few months later. also, many brokers don't qualify for E.I nor have benefits. Do you think that a working mother would like to take up a job like that? what if the kid gets sick and needs extra medical treatments? I often see more women financially better off than many males eventhough these women might have lower annual incomes than males. but even with smaller cheques ranging from $2000 to $5000 monthly they are sometimes more financially successful than many mortgage brokers due to their consistency and saving habits. On the other hand, our mortgage jobs require us to take people out to dinners...and expensive ones at that; give referral fees for a client referral (ie "kick backs"), dress up extraordinarily well with over the top suits just to impress; golf in the weekends with potential clients, and drive considerable distances multiple times just so that maybe the client will buy from us. This is why there are not that many women in the mortgage industry as compared to men. this is why there are more women graduating from university than men. this is why of a class of 80 doctors annually graduating from the university of british columbia only 18 of them are men. Women have a greater repsonsibilities than men..its called children! they need to be more are financially secure and responsible for the children and the household. they need to be more financially secure just in case the man messes up! And this is coming from a guy! sorry guys! but women are now kicking our butts in the career world... please note that this is just a generalization and it is based on what I have seen.

  • Lance on 2014-03-11 10:08:34 AM

    @Alexander. You're right about men taking more risk, though it has nothing to do with kids. I often here prominent women on shows like The Agenda s/Steve Paikin talking about it, and they never mention the kids. And men take those risks with or without children. As for women "kicking our butts", read the book; The War Against Boys" then tell me what you think.

  • Keith on 2014-03-13 1:25:59 PM

    Why are there not more women at the very top of the banking and mortgage industry? Well, let's look at it realistically. Most top executives in any industry are generally of a type that has a “dog eat dog” mentality. The almighty dollar and prestige drive them forward. They forsake their families, their personal lives, to climb their way to the top. In fact, man or women, there are very few examples of people who have not had to sacrifice their personal relationships for their careers. It is the nature of the beast in our world that to get to the top, you have to put in vast amounts of time and energy to achieve those goals, and it does not matter if you are a man or a women. That is the sad reality of our world, one that is very unlikely to change in the near… or distant… future.

    Most top executives work 7 days a week… even while on vacation – a term that simply means not physically in the office for a brief period of time. They work 14 hour days. The business is their passion and what drives them each morning. They also have full accountability for everything that happens in the business, and the pressure on them each and every day is massive.

    Can women do this? Of course they can! Many have. But you talk to them and the vast majority will tell you that they had to give up a lot to get there, and that is no different for a man or a woman. There are examples all around the world of people who have climbed to the top, and on the way up have sacrificed marriages and children to get there. Of the top 100 wealthiest people in Canada almost every single one of them have had more than one marriage, if they married at all. Several are on their third or fourth.

    The difference is that women have a far stronger drive to have a balance in their lives, and that is a VERY GOOD THING. It means that those around them have a richer life, and that they do as well. If men had that same mentality, and many are starting too – especially in the younger generations – then perhaps our world will change. Until the time when that becomes a reality however, it means that to make it to the top there has to be sacrifices made, and most women are smart enough to realize that at the end of the day family is vastly more important than worshipping the great and almighty dollar.

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