Breaking Down The Barriers: Unconscious Bias and its Effects on Women in Commercial Real Estate Careers

According to research published last year by the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network, the industry median annual compensation for women in commercial real estate fields is $115,000, compared with $150,000 for men—an income gap of 23 percent. The gap is actually widest in the C-suite at nearly 30 percent. While there are examples of women being intentionally paid less for the same role, it is likely that a large part of the difference can be explained due to unconscious bias.

What is unconscious bias? These biases are subtle thought patterns and assumptions we carry about others based on our background, upbringing, and personal experience. Both men and women carry unconscious biases—it’s just part of being human. It helps us categorize situations and other people quickly based on past experience. The harmful consequences of unconscious biases often dissipate once they are brought to light and can be dismissed based on more accurate information.

Common types of unconscious biases include the halo effect (the tendency to think that everything a person does is good because we like a person), the affinity bias (the tendency to be friendliest with people who are most like us), perception bias (forming stereotypes about groups that influence our thinking about individuals) and confirmation bias (the tendency to seek information that confirms our pre-existing beliefs).

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Mental Health in the Workplace 2017


World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10 every year with the objective to raise awareness of mental health issues and increase efforts supporting better mental health. The theme for 2017 is Mental health in the workplace, a central topic because a person’s work life can play a leading role in their state of mind and wellbeing.

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Women Business Owners Are Missing Out On Billions in Tax Incentives & Investments: Congress Can Change That


When her short-term corporate housing company started to draw sizable revenue, Chicago-based business owner Francine Manilow realized she needed to change how her business was organized in order to take greater advantage of tax breaks.

Women-owned businesses like Manilow’s represent more than a third of all U.S. companies. Yet they are often disadvantaged by the tax code because of their legal classification or service-based industry.

Manilow figured that out, saying, “The S-Corp wasn’t any good for me. I switched to C-Corp.”

Her story, however, is rare. A new report by Caroline Bruckner of American University’s Kogod Tax Policy Center, which drew upon a survey conducted by national advocacy organization Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) as part of its analytical foundation, found that many women entrepreneurs can’t take full advantage of tax incentives because the kinds of companies they own don’t benefit from provisions designed to stimulate growth and attract investment.

The good news is, rather than small businesses having to undergo the byzantine process of changing their legal structure, we have a huge opportunity to change the system for the better. For the first time in 30 years, Congress is looking seriously at revamping the tax code—a once-in-a-generation chance to transform it into a tool that empowers women entrepreneurs.

For the report Billion Dollar Blind Spot: How the U.S. Tax Code’s Small Business Expenditures Impact Women Business Owners, Kogod researchers surveyed 515 women business owners across the country to determine how they use four small business tax provisions. An online survey of WIPP members—companies with at least 51 percent female ownership who represented more than 15 different types of
industry—found that they were predominantly small business owners, with 96 percent reporting 100 or fewer employees.

A startling fact of the Kogod research is that 84 percent of women surveyed operate businesses in service industries that are excluded from those key provisions. There were other problematic trends revealed by the survey:

– Only 12 percent of respondents organize their businesses as C-corporations, meaning the remaining 88 percent are excluded from significant small business tax incentives.

– Only 0.6 percent of women surveyed reported at tracting capital for their businesses from non-corporate investors by using a portion of the code that allows them to issue qualified small business stock.

– 53 percent of respondents said they didn’t fully benefit from Section 179, a provision allowing businesses to deduct equipment purchased  and placed into service. They said they either didn’t know about the provision or don’t buy the kind of equipment qualifying under the provision.

– 86 percent of respondents said they’d never claimed a tax loss under a provision that permits an ordinary loss on the sale or exchange of qualified business stock.

The bottom line is three of the four tax provisions studied either explicitly exclude service firms or effectively bypass companies that are not C-Corporations or have few capital-intensive equipment investments. Given that most women-owned businesses are concentrated in service industries or are organized as something other than a C-Corp and have few capital-intensive equipment needs means they’re missing out on more than $255 billion in tax help.

What’s more, Kogod’s research found a complete lack of government analysis about the effects of tax expenditures on women-owned firms. This situation raises real questions about whether the tax code’s small business tax expenditures are operating as Congress intended. Clearly, policymakers have a billion-dollar blind spot when it comes to understanding how effective such expenditures are with respect to women-owned firms.

Members of both houses of Congress have reviewed Kogod’s research and are considering the importance of its findings. Yet, to date, neither the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance nor the House Committee on Ways and Means—the two primary bodies undertaking reform—has held a full hearing to assess the impact of the tax code’s small business tax expenditures on women business owners.

In addition to sounding the alarm on tax reform, in its 2017 Economic Blueprint, WIPP also highlighted numerous potential reforms in capital infrastructure needed to spark greater investment in women-owned businesses. A key recommendation includes developing more female fund managers through the Small Business Investment Company’s “Emerging Managers” Program with the likelihood that it would lead to more investment in women entrepreneurship.

The 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report affirms that between 2007 and 2016, the ranks of women entrepreneurs grew at a rate five times faster than the national average. Yet, in 2016, less than 5 percent of venture capital deals went to women-led businesses, according to PitchBook. Research from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship also shows that women receive only 4 percent of the total dollar value of all small business loans, and CrunchBase reports that between 2010 and 2015, just 10 percent of venture dollars globally went to startups with at least one female founder.

Correcting these inherent inequities carries the potential to dramatically impact our economy. The percentage of firms owned by women has skyrocketed from 4.6 percent in 1976—the first time the Census released a report on women’s business ownership—to 36 percent today. There are 10 million women-owned businesses, and they employ 9 million people and contribute $1.6 trillion to the economy, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Clearly, women entrepreneurs’ economic might is significant and growing. But they could accomplish even more if the tax code created stronger investment opportunities and if a greater number of women were positioned to make investment decisions to help businesses run by other women.

Things might not have gone so well for WIPP member Francine Manilow had she not figured out that inequities in the tax system were keeping her from greater prosperity.

“Many women have not been part of the inner workings of policymaking,” Manilow said. “I have no doubt I would have been even more successful if there had been a fairer tax code.”

Congress must use a tax reform and opportunities to improve access to capital to harness the economic energy generated by women.

Jane Campbell
President of Women Impacting Public Policy

The Truth about the Creative Drive


You know when you lack sleep. You might feel a bit disoriented, crave sugar, and start noticing random details around the room instead of focusing on what you wanted to do. Unfortunately, as a full-time, bootstrapping female entrepreneur this scenario is far too familiar.

Being a great entrepreneur takes effort, dedication and persistence, and it comes at a cost. In our efforts to develop and grow, we often stretch ourselves too thin. When we say yes to everything, we utilize time that would have otherwise been used to explore projects and opportunities that are more in alignment with our personal visions. At the end of the day we’re left to figure out how to balance work with life and self-care.

Sometimes you can’t reach that goal even if you do everything to manage your resources. However, creativity holds the power to help achieve your milestones by marinating in them. How can you be more creative?
When we ask this question, we are often asking how to be creative with ease. We want the results without the hard work. At times, when we don’t see immediate results, we are instantly crushed. Even though we know certain things will take a bit more effort and dedication, when we are used to ordering food, cars, lodging and dry cleaning with a click of a button, we unconsciously want things more instantly and perfectly.

It’s the same when we are creating something. As entrepreneurs, we know that every form of action is an act of creation. Whether it’s creating a new product that will revolutionize your industry or creating a new advertisement to market your message in a new way, we are always wearing our creative hat. What makes a difference between a thriving creative leader and a mediocre one is how they decide to interpret and utilize their creative strengths.

Thriving creative leaders are not just great with ideation; they know how to find connections in unassuming places, recognize opportunities in the most devastating moments, and thrive with limited resources. They let their imagination take their vision to a whole new level because they see things with an abundance mindset with patient persistence.

And yes, at times that means they may be working late hours and lack sleep, but they are using every insight and experience to learn, connect and create. This is a really important reminder for entrepreneurs, and especially for female entrepreneurs who often lack the resources, support and funding opportunities male founders have and believe that is the reason for our failure or delay in success. I know this may sound contradictory but lack of resources can be the key source to your growth, as long as you have the abundance creative mindset.

There are tools and strategies to be creative but they only scratch the surface. You have to do the work to learn what makes you creative and, most importantly, why you want to be creative. Why do you want to do this business? Why should others care? You have to dig deeper and reflect to understand your creative drive. Without fully understanding why you have a drive to do what you do and why you love doing what you do, you are half blind in your journey. When you understand your drive, not only do you understand what causes your excitement, you also understand what pushes you away from mediocrity. When you understand your drive, you understand why every form of creation and action you are taking is making a difference in building the bigger goal you want to fulfill.

When was the last time that you truly pushed yourself and asked why you are doing what you do? Have you truly been giving your 100 percent? If you’re not, why not?

Stop using the need for perfect balance as an excuse to not fully dive into your potential. When you recognize every piece of your experience is a puzzle piece that will help fill the gaps then you stop worrying so much about
balancing; rather, you focus on how the pieces all fit together to reach the goal. In cooking, marrying the flavors and spices is important. Sometimes you need equal amounts of two ingredients, sometimes a little less of one and more of another, sometimes even replacing an ingredient with something different.

At times you may lack sleep, the funding or the network to reach where you want to go, but you shouldn’t see that as something that’s stopping you from reaching your dreams. Take a step back to see how it all connects and can help you get to the next goal. You may be surprised at what you find.

The truth is, you already have the creative drive. You just need the courage and patience to recognize the diamond in the rough.

Monica Kang
Founder and CEO

How I Reinvented my Career without Reinventing Myself


Baby Boomers are living longer, retiring later and, the truth is, we’re finding that one lifelong career just isn’t enough. Long gone are the days when a high school or college graduate finds a dream job, spends the next 30-35 years moving up the company ladder and retires with a pension at 62. In fact, graduates are changing jobs nearly three times, on average, within the first five years of graduation; a pace that has nearly doubled versus just 20 years ago, according to LinkedIn Economic Graph data.

Whether you’re a Millennial, Baby Boomer or somewhere in between, if you’ve spent any time in real estate or financial services over the past five to 10 years, chances are you’ve experienced long and lean times as a regular course of doing business. With the ongoing interest rate movement and uncertain times ahead, there is no better time than now to consider where you stand in your career, how much it fulfills you and what might lie ahead.

My own employment, some 30 years of trials and successes in financial services, has taken me over a lot of winding roads. I’ve had to make a number of adjustments to my career path—either preemptive or forced—most recently several years ago when my employer (a very large and well-established insurer in the mortgage banking ecosystem) descended into receivership.

As with twists and turns I’d experienced before, the writing had been on the wall. Banks were substantially cutting back from residential lending and servicing. The once robust non-agency market was anemic and unlikely to emerge as its former self. Warehouse lending, title services, mortgage insurance, appraisal services and others survived, but were (and are) very competitive commoditized value propositions that expand and contract based on market need.

Fortunately for me, I had diversified jobwise. Since 2005 I had been following a passion and teaching evening college classes in finance and macroeconomics. So while the sudden change stung, it didn’t sink me.

As both a student and professor, I’ve spent a lot of time studying employment trends. Virtually every generation has faced changes in both opportunity and employment requirements due to advances in technology. In real estate and mortgage lending, automation of workflow has been a driver of technology in loan originating, appraisal, loan processing, underwriting, servicing, brokerage services segments and much more. I had been exploring how to capitalize on my 30+ years of mortgage banking, structured finance and capital markets experience to refresh my career. My research led me to financial technology companies that were quietly making inroads into the space, but with improved value propositions.

Shortly after things went south with my employer, I accepted a position at a fintech company in San Francisco called Alight. It was a leap for me—I was a died-in-the-wool mortgage guy and while Alight was exciting, I have to admit to having a bit of trepidation about becoming a tech sales guy. But I was hooked from the start. Alight’s value proposition suited my expertise, my educational background and my view of where the mortgage industry needed to head. It was a win-win for me from day one to the end of my time at the company.

Back to you. Chances are your industry—your livelihood—is (or will be) undergoing substantive change, change that will likely affect the way things run. You need to be prepared for any surprises that may come your way. But where to start?

1. Do your research.
First, study the advancement of tech companies and the
inroads they made during periods of change. Tech advancements are the proverbial writing on the wall and typically herald significant change coming. Technology that enhances productivity may curb manpower needs, while technology that opens up new areas previously undiscovered may require additional manpower, so education and training—even just some self-study—may be necessary. Investigate the field you’re in now (if you’re satisfied), and some other industries where you can leverage your expertise and about which you think you can be excited.

2. Take the five-year plan and stay relevant.
Use your imagination to consider where the industry might be five years from now; it’s a reasonable and practical timeframe on which to base decisions. Read thought leaders and influencers, not only in your industry but also in related industries and broad, innovative areas like technology, sciences, economics. And then, instead of focusing on the job you would like to have five years from now, begin by considering what types of employment will be part of the future economy. Play to your strengths, your experience and your skillsets, and educate yourself in unfamiliar areas that have potential. Be sure to only pursue things that excite you and will be worth really working for.

3. Get in touch & stay in touch.
If you’ve been working in an industry for a while, you’ve likely accumulated a lot of contacts. Take the time to reconnect with old colleagues as those contacts will come in handy as you look for new opportunities. Begin to grow your network out beyond the borders of your industry, particularly into areas you are exploring. People like to refer and hire people they know.

4. Find your paper route.
Develop a hobby, passion, talent or value proposition into a business that is economically rewarding, convenient timewise and psychologically liberating. Start it as a paper route, something you do in your spare time that can add a second or third source of regular and predictable incremental income. Your paper route may start off small, but with time and energy you can grow it into a meaningful source of income. Get certified or licensed, and keep it active. When I first started teaching 12 years ago, what I made was laughable. I taught one class and earned $400 for an eight-week session, and today I am an adjunct professor. My teaching income is not inconsequential and the benefits are substantive. Best of all, I love teaching and it is something that I can do well into semi-retirement.

5. Develop an achieveable, but not too slow timeline.
Life is busy and there are a million things that can get in the way of making changes, particularly when it comes to revamping a career. It’s much easier to continue on the same trajectory than to change course. Take a breath and reevaluate. The things you start today, the things that require extra effort, the things that require a journey, are the very things that will contribute to your success sometime in the future. I once had a boss who always said to me, “Ralph, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.” Well, go ahead and take that first bite.

Expanding your career into a new area or converting a hobby into an income-producing enterprise requires a lot of care and feeding, a whole lot of discipline and some sacrifice. But, once you’ve done it, you won’t remember the pain, you’ll be basking in the rewards. Things like supplemental income, or a “side hustle,” as the Millennial demographic calls it, can turn into a meaningful addition to your personal bottom line. Money is fungible, $3,000 to $25,000 per year in extra cash can be very additive to lifestyle, savings or whatever you decide.

Start thinking about what may lie ahead for you—life’s big milestones—kids, houses, weddings, college, rainy days, retirement—and factor those into your plan first. Once you have those cornerstones laid, the only limits to what comes next are the ones you impose. Live your best life many times!

Ralph Armenta
Technology and Mortgage Banking Consultant & Adjunct Finance Marcoeconomics Professor

Moving the Needle in the Right Direction for Women Tech


STEMconnector® has more than 170 members and has organized to push skills to more than 5 million open jobs. Million Women Mentors (MWM) was established to increase career opportunities for girls and women and has gained nearly 2 million pledges for mentor relationships. The movement has to change the career options for women and girls and reach pay equity by making great jobs and rewarding careers available. STEM jobs provide a means of pay equity; thus, we must provide the economic excitement for women to earn and contribute.

Consider what we are achieving with Million Women Mentors, reaching millions of commitments and bringing the private sector and organizations together to mentor, sponsor and provide internships. Please join us. I had the honor of writing a blog with PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi, back in 2015, which says the following about Million Women Mentors: “We’ve already seen some amazing progress, but imagine what could happen if every STEM professional made a commitment to mentoring one-on-one for just two hours a month. We could truly change the game.”

STEMconnector® is a consortium of companies, associations, academic institutions and government entities actively engaged with STEM education and careers and with the future of human capital. With multiple products and councils, STEMconnector® is both a resource and service, designed to link “all things STEM.”

Gender & diversity is at our core. In the U.S., women and minorities make up the majority of the population and, clearly, the demographics of education. That’s why we launched Million Women Mentors, and we are on our way to 2 million mentor relationships. By endorsing all efforts—from private and public, to educational and organizational— to mentor and change lives, and increase careers in STEM jobs, pay equity is close. Every corporation and institution wants to show their progress and results for gender and diversity based on successful recruitment, engagement and retention.

Commitment to the underserved is part of all that we do, and we are proud of those who do not tolerate inequality and want to focus on making the land of opportunity a reality. STEMconnector® takes pride in “scaling up” what works. Along with the CEO of Tata Consultancy Services, STEMconnector® has committed to Tech Talent for All. It takes great marriages of private and public sectors. The CEO of Sprint, for instance, announced the 1Million Project, which donates tech to those in need. Salute all!

Public policy impact is clear on each of these. If not at the federal level, then we need the support at the local level. Public policy impact must be translated and saluted. Whether we continue support for tech talent for all or CTE Support, we stand up for use of public policy in many ways.

Women’s Equality Day was August 26th, and November is Science and Technology Month. Why can’t we make every day a celebration for gender gains in science and technology and a commitment to improve the numbers? Considering that up to 80 percent of jobs today require tech skills, and all STEM jobs pay women close to parity—about 96 cents on a dollar compared to 80 cents overall—an answer to parity and pay equity will involve technology. Let’s put more effort in gaining STEM skills and especially tech skills, and making tech careers a national priority. We urge all of you to read the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, The Power of Parity: How Advancing Women’s Equality can add $12 Trillion to Global Growth. Gender advancement in STEM and tech is about economic opportunity and equality.

It can’t be the “Old Boys Network” any longer. We know we need a “New Girls Network,” but let’s allow men to be our champions and advocates, and ask CEOs and others to commit to the advancement of women and girls. We can do it together. Don’t accept no. Instead of focusing on “Sexism in Silicon Valley,” let’s build commitments to embracing women in STEM and tech.

Maya Angelou said, “In order to be a mentor, and an effective one, one must care.” We all care about the phones in our hands, the computers on our desks, and the cars that we drive. We must care even more about the girls who want to invent, explore, and discover the next generation of amazing STEM breakthroughs but who just need a little encouragement.

We must move faster. The movie Hidden Figures highlights the roles of three African American female mathematicians working at NASA as human computers. They helped build the space race. There are too few role models for girls today. Women comprise 24 percent in the tech and computer science space, a number that has declined or been static for the past decade; meanwhile, men are jumping ahead. Most high school and university gender numbers are poor, as are the requirements to teach computer science in schools. As NCWIT shares, girls comprise 56 percent of the Advanced Placement (AP) test-takers, yet only 19 percent of the AP Computer Science test-takers. We must advance and encourage all to code and engage in data analytics and other exciting areas. Carnegie Mellon has close to 49 percent women’s enrollment. We are proud to work with many academic institutions pushing the needle, but too few are embracing women in STEM and tech.

Jobs are open in every area of tech, and we must mentor, sponsor, offer great job opportunities and share our successes. We must push to advance women and girls, and role models are vital. Write your own stories and blogs, speak out and act, and, most importantly, execute and report results. Just as we released 100 CEO Leaders in STEM, 100 CIO Leaders, and 100 Diverse Leaders, look for the 2nd edition and release of 100 Women Leaders in STEM in October 2017.

The “Fearless Girl” is a symbol on Wall Street staring down the bronze “Charging Bull.” The “Fearless Girl” represents the desire to build equality for finance (as well as STEM and tech) and has gained millions of media impressions and new commitments. Let’s join together as fearless leaders and mentors to achieve STEM success, and gain more jobs in the tech field, which is dominating finance and every other area. All of us can be catalysts for gender action, and girls and women can—and will—build our economic future, financial achievement and success. Tech underlies all we do. COMMIT to action now as we join together to drive RESULTS.

Thank you, Edie Fraser!

Jumpstarting Your Career & Business in the Housing Ecosystem


As a professional in the housing ecosystem, it is crucial to think outside the box and utilize the resources at your disposal to grow and advance your business and career. Analyzing your market, familiarizing yourself with the competition and crafting a superior business plan are great first steps, but pioneering decisions are what will make or break you in the market.

Adapting to the changing times, leveraging your differences, preparing for the future of the market and surrounding yourself with people invested in your success will help you seize opportunities for advancement.

Balancing New School and Old School
If you consider your favorite products, are they the “best” or the most inexpensive choices on the market? Or, have you developed a relationship with a particular brand that you buy because it has done right by you? Similar to your preferred items, your business can become the go-to for customers.
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Increasing the Odds: Building the Female Executive


If you have had the privilege of meeting with senior managers at mortgage and finance companies, you will notice they are overwhelmingly filled with middle-aged, white men. According to Catalyst, women currently hold only 5.8 percent of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies. This tells us that despite all of the progress, women simply have not shattered the glass ceiling.

The fact remains, when it comes to hiring for executive-level positions, the pool of experienced and qualified candidates with relevant experience is predominantly male. This is not to say that women are not just as capable, but if 95 percent of the qualified applicant pool is male, the chances of hiring a female for that role are strikingly low, thus creating a perpetual cycle of hiring men.

To move more women into higher roles, companies need to foster an environment of promoting from within and effectively “break” this continuous cycle. Companies sometimes fail to see the proven talent right before them in their eagerness to bring in someone from the outside with a prior comparable title. Board members usually receive outside candidates with similar experience well because they seem like the right fit on paper. The reality is that after the initial announcement to the company and circulation in industry periodicals, no one ever remembers these prior titles and companies measure performance by innovation rather than a candidate’s prior job history.

The responsibility to foster an environment that promotes from within falls on each of our shoulders. We need to encourage growth from within our own companies, encourage hiring managers and those in decision-making positions to look within the company and allow capable, promising employees the chance to advance from within. To drive this growth, we need to prepare the next generation of executive women to challenge experienced male candidates.

To be a capable candidate for an executive role requires having a clear vision of your goals and career path. Planning will help you to avoid many costly detours along the way and improve your chances of arriving at your final destination.

Career goals are different from performance goals at work and they are certainly not a New Year’s Resolution, which is good, because hardly anyone achieves those! Unlike performance goals—which are usually SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound)—career goals should be HARD (Heartfelt, Animated, Required and Difficult). Goals need to be difficult enough to propel one forward, making traction toward the final destination.

It is important to remember that you will never achieve a goal you don’t set, yet the majority of the population does not have written goals. The mere act of writing down goals will set you apart from peers. However, setting the goal is just part of the battle.

According to statistics from Workboard, 93 percent of the workforce cannot translate their goals into actions, and only 7 percent of people know what they need to do to execute a goal. Similar statistics from Inc. indicate only 8 percent of the population can achieve a goal they set annually—this does not even speak to goals that span the course of decades.

How can women best position themselves to reach their career goals? In addition to their HARD career goals, they must select the right mentor. Sharing goals with a mentor can help maintain focus and develop the roadmap needed to execute your vision. The right mentor is vital to developing the skills needed to translate goals into action and continue career growth, particularly for women who are at a disadvantage.

In identifying a mentor, it is arguable that women are far more successful when mentored by other women. Women are known for their ability to relate to an audience. It is important to have a mentor who can help you grow to find your own voice and present ideas in a way that is confident, persuasive and natural. Women mentored by other women can better find a delivery method that is their own because they share common strengths and understandings. Bottom line: women need to find their own voice and they will not find it if trying to sound like a man.

My advice to women is not to let life pass by. Take control and propel forward into that dream job with confidence and the necessary skills. When doing so, do not forget that you would not be as strong without a community of supportive women, each of which have a duty help mentor the next generation.

Thank you,

Robyn Markow
AVP Client Relations
Quality Claims Management Corp.

Leading the Way Toward Gender Equality


On a stormy Thursday in January I had the honor of attending a meeting at the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science on the financial position of women in the European Union (EU). Experts and policy makers from 14 EU Member States gathered in The Hague to talk about the economic independence of women in their respective countries.

In the Netherlands, but also in other EU countries, we see more and more women obtaining degrees in higher education and finishing their degrees faster than men. However, this educational outperformance is not reflected in our current labor market. The Netherlands Institute for Social Research has conducted research at the request of the Emancipation Department of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science that focuses on the early career phase of young women and men in the Netherlands. The first steps young professionals take in the labor market can be instrumental to the trajectory of their careers and possibily offer an explanation for the current position of women in the workforce.

The study conducted by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research shows that in the first 18 months after obtaining a degree, there are no significant differences between young women and men in regards to becoming employed. However, what is significant is that in the 18-26 age group, working women are less often working full-time than men. The differences are striking with just under 40 percent of women working full-time, compared to 70 percent of men.

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Reducing Losses on FHA Defaulted Loans


Servicing FHA Loans continues to be challenging and, in many instances, includes high losses on default liquidated loans. While FHA delinquencies have greatly improved compared to post crisis delinquency, there are still over 7.8 million outstanding FHA insured loans with delinquency rates that rose as high as 11.25 percent according to the FHA Single Family Loan Performance Trends report published by HUD this past January.

When working with FHA Loans in default, there are many key time frames that must be met in order to minimize losses, beginning as soon as the date the loan was last contractually current, and continuing throughout the claim filing process. In many cases just missing the start of a foreclosure action by one day can result in increased losses of thousands of dollars. Failure to meet all time frames will not only result in interest curtailments, but ultimately the curtailment of advances as well. These losses can be further exacerbated depending on the type of pool, the Servicer’s ability to limit interest rate spreads, and time required to resolve. Additionally, if there was a missed time frame, FHA will only pay debenture interest to the point of the interest curtailment. After the interest curtailment, HUD will no longer pay debenture interest on the Unpaid Principle Balance.

To put things in perspective, if an FHA loan has an Unpaid Principle Balance of $150,000 with an interest rate of 3.5 percent, and you miss the first legal action for foreclosure, and it takes an additional 24 months to convey, the Servicer stands to lose $10,500 in interest alone. In addition to interest curtailments, the Servicer must fully comply with the allowable fee schedule for all legal actions and property preservation expenses. Overhead costs as well as any fees or costs associated with clearing title issues are not reimbursable or recoverable through a claim to HUD.

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