Women in the real estate financing sector have a new opportunity to connect with others in their field and to access and exchange information about the industry. On October 18, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced the launch of mPower, a professional networking platform that aims to create “a strong, diverse network of women” in the real estate financial industry. In addition to the benefits for women, financial services entities subject to regulation under the Dodd-Frank Act can look to the new MBA networking platform as an initiative for fostering diverse talent in connection with diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs adopted under the Dodd-Frank D&I standards.
mPower, an acronym for MBA Promoting Opportunities for Women to Extend their Reach, is accessible through the MBA website, where members are provided with exclusive access to resources and information, notices regarding upcoming events of interest to women in the industry, and the opportunity to interact with their peers in a private online forum. According to David H. Stevens, president and CEO of the MBA, “addressing the needs of this important segment of our workforce is essential to our industry’s success. MBA can be the catalyst for creating a strong, diverse network of women in our industry.”
The stated goals of mPower align with the Dodd-Frank D&I standards, which contemplate the “inclusion” component as “a process to create and maintain a positive work environment that values individual similarities and differences, so that all can reach their potential and maximize their contributions to an organization.” As explained by MBA chief operating officer Marcia Davis, “mPower is designed to recognize and promote the rise of women in the real estate finance industry, as well as the overall workforce. Our goal is to provide information, events and a networking platform to help women maximize their overall potential.”