In conjunction with the Canadian Mortgage Broker Association Atlantic Canada conference and trade show, the inaugural Women in the Mortgage Industry Awards recognized key industry players committed to shattering glass ceilings.
A crucial component of WIMI was the Mentors that Matter panel, moderated by Doreen Walsh, regional sales manager for Ontario and Atlantic Canada for First National Financial, during which panellists discussed war stories from the trenches and leadership qualities.
“The honesty of the panel struck me,” said Walsh. “The men shared how they much embrace and encourage their daughters, as well as the millennials surrounding them, to go forward and pursue their careers. When I looked around, every audience member was engaged. They absorbed everything they heard, and hopefully they can implement some of these insights into their personal or business lives.
“The panellists let their guards down and shared personal experiences, unfettered. People were earnest, they were candid, and I wholeheartedly believe these stories will impact their peers.”
Kyra Wong, district vice president at Manulife Financial, along with Jennifer Burrage from Equitable Bank, doled out the awards and she says the day’s anecdotes resonated with her.
“I’m pleased to see the number of men in the audience at the WIMI event today because we’re in a heavily male-dominated industry and it’s encouraging to have men supporting women,” said Wong, who spearheads the Magical Unicorn Project, which emboldens women to smash through corporate, social and emotional glass ceilings.
“I hope it inspires more women to step up, step out of their comfort zones, and to expand into more leadership roles.”
According to Fisgard’s Hali Strandlund-Noble—herself an industry luminary—the inaugural WIMI awards show shed light on the Canadian mortgage industry’s unsung heroes, and she hopes that it gives them a louder voice henceforward.
“This inaugural WIMI awards was fantastic because there are so many amazing women in the mortgage industry in Atlantic Canada who often get overlooked at national awards or events,” she said. “It’s a smaller market and they don’t typically get the accolades that colleagues in larger centres receive. They’re often the quiet leaders of the mortgage industry, and we’re so pleased to acknowledge their hard work and dedication.”
Wong will be a speaker at Women in Real Estate on November 15 in Toronto.