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Women’s Gender Equality
Where do you go when you have been wronged as a woman? How do you take the necessary steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again, to you or anyone else? Do you go to a women’s group, bring up your complaint to your HR representative, address your aggressor privately?
Even more considerations remain after you’ve decided how to proceed. Am I overreacting? Is this just how the workplace is? Will my career be hurt or taken from me by higher-ups who are upset that I’m speaking out?
There is an unjust burden that women carry after they have been subjected to gender inequality. After being discriminated, harassed or assaulted, women not only have to endure the pain, shame and trauma of that incident, we are expected to voice our feelings in the “right” way. “Don’t make a scene.” “This isn’t the place or time.” “He’s such a nice guy, can’t you move past it?” These are just some of the reactions and repercussions we encounter.
The burden is not only being victimized, it’s being held accountable for behaving in a way, and exposing what happened to you, in a manner that does not hurt, affect or mar anyone else, including the person responsible. However, the truth is that someone was indeed hurt, affected and marred, and it is not the responsibility of the victim to tiptoe around the reality of what happened for the aggressor’s sake. Sadly, victims are frequently held to higher standards than their culprits.
In relation to other NAWRB initiatives, it is because of these imbalanced circumstances that other aspects like women’s economic growth and women’s homeownership are such crucial parts of this dialogue. Economic growth means freedom and independence for women. A woman’s home is more than just a home—it’s her sanctuary! Her home is a place of personal freedom, security and comfort in an impacting world, and a source of financial stability.
In this imbalanced state of affairs NAWRB raises its hand in support and belief of women; we have long been a voice and advocate helping grow accountability in women’s issues. NAWRB invites you to share your story with us, and utilize the support, advice and community we provide for the women’s housing ecosystem.
NAWRB: Women’s Gender Equality Leader
The NAWRB Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC) is dedicated to helping raise the number of C-suite women and grow women’s employment at all levels in the housing ecosystem. Comprised of C-suite and senior executive women from several sectors of the housing ecosystem, NDILC is uniquely positioned to help address gender issues and lead the way in the advancement of women in the workplace.
In our Case Study: Have You Been a Victim of Stolen Funds, we ask for stories of consumers or businesses who have had their hard-earned funds embezzled or mishandled by financial institutions. By becoming a resource for mistreated customers, we give a voice to consumers while garnishing accountability from financial institutions.
Our Small Business Sustainability Initiative: Know Before You Lose! provides the tools to help small businesses be proactive in securing their resources and ensuring long-term success. Addressing five main elements, cybersecurity; insurance—crime prevention and employee dishonesty riders; small businesses vetting financial institutions; payroll alert/assistance; and small claims accountability, our initiative undertakes the concerns of our nation’s 30 million small business owners.
NAWRB’s inaugural 2017 Women in Housing Ecosystem Report raises awareness and accountability of women entrepreneurs’ successes and obstacles by bringing data to the forefront, and analyzes the ramifications of workplace gender imbalances on women’s homeownership. In this report, we highlight the importance of homeownership to women’s economic growth and security. A woman’s home is more than just a home—it’s her sanctuary! Her home is a place of personal freedom, security and comfort in an impacting world, and a source of financial stability.
Perfectly illustrative of NAWRB’s storytelling is our coverage of Rebecca Steele’s court case. In October 2013, Steele was found responsible for misrepresenting the quality of the loans Countrywide sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during her time as COO for the company’s lending division. She was found liable and fined $1 million by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. On May 23, 2016, after years and millions spent in litigation, Bank of America’s Countrywide was found not liable and Steele was found innocent.
NAWRB focuses on the meaning of the story, and Steele’s—an intricate sequence of events that includes a Justice Department appeal that was turned down just 18 days after it was placed—provided abundant food for thought.
From the beginning, our writing identified the role of gender, “Article(s) describing her hair color and style of dress reminded readers that the federal government wasn’t just charging a chief operational officer, they had found a woman at fault … they [news outlets] wanted audiences to consider and remember her gender.”
The power of words to suggest an idea while presenting a fact is incredible. The subtext in the coverage of Steele’s case was illogical, and NAWRB was instrumental in elucidating its undertones. Even in her victory, Steele continued to be wronged, as her name was predominantly absent from headlines and articles proclaiming Bank of America’s Countrywide innocence.
NAWRB’s dedication to driving accountability in women’s issues is reinforced by our industry partnerships, notably with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). NAWRB is one of only 9 organizations listed as a Women-Owned Small Business Partner Resource on the SBA’s website.
We are an influential women’s resource that is here to stay. The housing ecosystem is an industry where information moves at the speed of light and perception can make or break a legacy.