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The Mortgage Industry Is Mostly Laying Off Women

Why women are the most impacted by the great mortgage layoff of 2023

Steve Cooley Headshot
Steve Cooley
Laying off women

Let’s explore a topic where we’ll all walk a thin line of political correctness, aspiration, and full-blown speculation. We’re lucky; marketing-as-a-service is resonating with the mortgage industry — we are strategically positioned to help. We’ve been able to scoop up a lot of marketing talent in 2023.

Initially, I didn’t give it much thought, but they have been mostly women. The mortgage industry is plagued with challenges. The biggest challenge has been massive layoffs. We speak to leaders and folks trying to figure out the next steps in their employment journey weekly. Sometimes we get to refer them for job opportunities, and, in some cases, we hire them.

Leading mortgage media sources indicate that the bulk of these layoffs occurs in three areas — processing, underwriting, and marketing. The bottom line is that most people we have spoken to are women.

I subscribe to very little inequality conjecture. I am an agnostic professional. It allows me to be more effective. It sometimes forces me to learn about things I don’t understand. There is an opportunity with every perspective, conviction, religion, race, and creed to develop a genuine message that will impact the business at its core. Openness and willingness provide our team with a strategic advantage. So, we stay neutral, focus on facts, and try to find the heart of every engagement.

That being said, 56% of the mortgage industry is men. Shocking, right? However, over 78% of all mortgage processors are women. Almost 61% of all mortgage underwriters are women. Lastly, 56% of marketing positions are likely held by a woman. Lender Implosion is a start-up dedicated to helping laid-off mortgage professionals. According to co-founder Andrew Haberman, Lender Implosion analyzed its job-seeker database and found that 78% of laid-off job seekers were women (since September 2022).

It is understandable why these positions are being laid off. There are fewer loans to process and underwrite. Marketers are often seen as a luxury and viewed as non-producers. Arguably, the opposite occurred in the refi boom — processors and underwriters were in high demand — so women may have been hired faster than men.


layoffs box

Losing An Essential Element

Layoffs are impossible decisions to make when an industry compresses, and they are inevitable. While production, output, and ability to attribute or generate revenue are the main measuring sticks, employee impact overall must be measured to ensure a healthy work environment. Here are three significant contributions women play to the ecosystem of a business.

1. Profitability
According to McKinsey, companies in the top 25% of gender diversity are more likely to have above-average profitability. This has been thoroughly researched and applicable to both women in leadership and general positions within the company. This rang true again in a 2022 gender diversity study and seems to be a solid truth that business leaders must consider when evaluating their workforce.

2. Improved Customer Experience
Research indicates that women excel in emotional intelligence, which drives a willingness to innovate and provide a higher level of customer service. The ability to put yourself in the customer’s shoes is a superpower that we preach in marketing. Empathy will always shine when customers evaluate a company’s customer service.

3. Increased Kindness
Gender diversity in the workplace increases the happiness, confidence, and communication of the people around them. Similar to improved customer service, women tend to neutralize behaviors and decrease poor behavior, especially when dealing with workplace aggression.

It is not wise to believe that women are getting hoisted out of the workplace in the mortgage industry. However, to a degree, they are. The layoffs, in conjunction with more and more women considering leaving the workforce, give business leaders a reason to reconsider how to hire and manage the need to purge staff.

Whether man or woman, a professional possesses an X-factor that can pull down the morale of an entire company. Despite being mediocre or poor at their jobs, they tie the moral fabric of an organization together. Once removed, the company experiences a time of mourning. These are usually hard to identify until it is too late. However, we need a balance of women in the workplace. We have data to show the benefits.

So, if a mortgage lender continues to lay off the professions mentioned in this article, even justifiably, they may experience a morale, profit, and customer service decline. That is simply what you get when you aren’t thinking about these matters and showing the professionals with the highest emotional intelligence the door.

This article was originally published in the Mortgage Women Magazine May 2023 issue.
Steve Cooley Headshot
Steve Cooley
Published on
May 12, 2023
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