Andrew Montlake on Diversity & Inclusion in the Mortgage Industry

Written by Andrew Montlake, Founder of Coreco and AMI Chairman

AMI has always done a fantastic job fighting brokers corner and representing their interests, and those of our clients, when in discussions with regulators, Government and working with other trade bodies, and part of this work involves looking at wider issues that we feel our membership should be looking at, not just because we believe there are potential issues around the corner, but because we believe it is the right thing to do.

D&I has been a topic that we felt the industry as a whole had been skirting around for a while, unsure of how to have the conversation or where to go for help. We all knew that there were issues, whether reports of behavior at industry events, the fact that some brokers from diverse backgrounds felt compelled to set up their own firms as they were not progressing within larger companies, and also one cursory glance around the AMI Board showed that there were issues.

We knew that for our industry and firms to thrive in the future we have to be more representative of our client base going forward, more able to bring in more talent into our industry and that firms had to have diversity of thought.

It is also future proofing. The clients of today and the future expect businesses to reflect the society we live in and to see themselves, their needs and aspirations represented by people that understand their position.

After the publication of the AMI Viewpoint last year, we knew that this would only be the start of a long journey and highlighting the issue was one thing, but engaging people and providing help, guidance, and resources to assist everyone in the industry, was what we ultimately needed to make real progress.

What has blown us all away is the level of engagement we have had from all over the mortgage industry from a diverse range of people committed to helping and making a change.

We were able to assemble three task forces, led by three talented people, and quickly produced the idea that formed the background to this website. We felt it was important to have two sides, one for those already within the industry to provide tools, ideas, resources and thought-leadership content to assist with increasing D&I within their own businesses, and another for those looking at the mortgage industry as a proposed career.

We want and need a whole new generation of diverse and passionate people who can see that our industry offers a great opportunity for a wide, varied and successful career path. We wanted to show the true face of the mortgage industry, one that is composed of people from all ethnic and social backgrounds, and one that everyone can progress equally and feel a part of.

This industry has given me so much, helped to shape my identity and allow me to grow and share my passions in a way that many other industries do not. This is one reason why I passionately believe that we have an obligation to our industry, to those active within it, and to those future entrants, to continue this conversation in the open, across all brokers, lenders and trade bodies, and continue to affect the change that has already started.

Everyone is welcome in the mortgage industry, and everyone should be able to be their true selves every day. Our future depends on this.