Among Canadian mortgage brokers, women are well represented, however, executive posts largely remain an old boys’ club.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t any women at all, nor does it mean an unmistakable shift isn’t underway.
“I’m seeing a lot more powerful, smart women in this industry who are leaning forward with more of their ideas, coming forth with opinions and putting themselves at the table on boards,” said Frances Hinojosa. “That traction, over time, will give us more representation of both sexes equally.”
Hinojosa is a managing partner at Tribe Financial, and while she might see fewer women helming major brokerages and finance companies, she does not believe the pace of change has become static.
“I’ve taken on this role in the industry because of my passion, and I don’t look at myself as just being a woman in the industry,” she said. “I look at myself as being someone with experience and passion, and with ideas to help improve and move it forward. As a woman, I don’t go in thinking I’m the only woman in the room providing my opinion; I look at it as I’m a valuable resource with experience who’s giving my opinion. As a woman, if you take the gender out of the equation and don’t go in with the mindset that you’re the only woman in the room, you can overcome so many more psychological obstacles that may prevent you, or hold you back, from moving on in your career.”
One agent of change in the industry is Kyra Wong, a district vice president at Manulife Bank, who started the Magical Unicorn Project which endeavours to assist women overcome adversity and an emotional glass ceiling, or what Wong calls a self-limiting belief system.
The Magical Unicorn Project also shines a bright light on men who do their part to help engender evolved attitudes and who help women unlock their full potential.
“I’ve had significant adversity in my life,” Wong told Mortgagebrokernews.ca. “I lost my parents at a young age and grew up with pretty much no support system, aside from one younger sister I had in my life. So I really had to navigate all of life’s challenges by myself and had a number of setbacks along the way, but I always chose to accept adversity and use it as an opportunity to advance, and grow, and become better, so when I speak about these things, they come from a place of experience.”
Wong will be among a slew of speakers at a Key Media International event called Women in Real Estate on November 15 in Toronto, where she’ll talk about how women have helped redefine the mortgage and real estate industries.
Real estate investors, take heed
Women standing tall and confident