Woman To Woman: Female Leaders Offer Advice To Others


Female mortgage professionals are breaking barriers and making strides. As Women’s History Month is celebrated this March, The Mortgage Note asked leaders in the industry and related fields to share their advice with others.

Here’s what they said:

Be kind.

“Always be kind. This is a small pond. You never know who you will work with or for,” said Erica Giorgiantonio, senior director of field services at SingleSource Property Solutions in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

Have confidence.

Julia Curran, senior director of product design at SitusAMC in New York City, said, “Don’t be afraid to speak up and assert yourself in meetings and negotiations. Confidence and assertiveness are key qualities for success in our field.”

Gaining that confidence can be difficult, so Alpa Lally, EVP and general manager at Rocket Companies in Detroit, Michigan, encourages women to build a support system of peers and mentors.

“Connect with other women in the field through professional organizations, networking events, and online communities,” Lally said. “Look for mentors, both male and female, who can offer guidance, share their experiences, and provide valuable insights into navigating the industry.”

Heather Lovier, chief client experience officer at Rocket Mortgage, encourages women to find strength by embracing their unique perspectives.

“Advocate for yourself and others, and be resilient in the face of challenges while never forgetting to show empathy. Your voice matters, and with determination and support, you can thrive in this dynamic industry,” Lovier said.

Be authentic.

According to Dr. KimArie Yowell, chief diversity officer at Rocket Companies, and LaQuanda Sain, executive vice president of servicing at Rocket Mortgage, being true to yourself is key.

Sain said, “The advice I would have for women in the mortgage industry is to not be afraid of being your authentic self. Be confident in who you are and what you bring to the table. If there isn’t a table, make your own.”

“It’s important to know who you are, your values, and what matters most to you. Allow this to guide you as you create your own narrative. Remember, you’re either the author of your story or simply a character in someone else’s. You decide,” Yowell said.

Alyce Genova, senior director of operations for Snapdocs, the mortgage industry’s leading digital closing provider, admits that is not always easy to be authentic, especially in a competitive environment.

“Early in my career, I focused too much time and energy trying to fit a mold. I thought strength required aggression and confidence meant being loud,” Genova said. “One of the biggest unlocks for me was shifting my mindset to value my kind nature and embrace my true self, which has led to the most success in both my personal and professional life.”

Maintain your integrity.

Donna Schmidt, founder and managing director at DLS Servicing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said her advice for women is to stay true to their values – especially when it is easy to take shortcuts or engage in the blame game.

“Be thorough, remain thoughtful, and take ownership of your work and your team’s work. For DLS, this principle means we’ve occasionally had to write a big check for a mistake on our part,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said people remember how others conduct their business and it is best done with honor and integrity.

Embrace innovation.

New technologies can help female leaders get ahead, according to Eileen Tu, vice president of product development and credit policy at Rocket Mortgage.

“Lean into understanding the world of generative AI to help create efficiencies within your own workspace and teams,” Tu said.

Jane Mason, founder and CEO of Clarifire in St. Petersburg, Florida, said the mortgage technology industry thrives on innovation so collaborating on new ways of working will drive the solutions and ideas of tomorrow.

“Our industry and technology in particular are constantly evolving, so staying informed and adaptable will fuel your growth and open up new opportunities,” Mason said.

Find your niche.

“The mortgage industry offers endless opportunities to learn, grow, and make a positive difference. Find a niche that you’re enthusiastic about and focus on it. Specializing in an area that you’re passionate about, you can create a unique value for yourself — plus, it will help you stay driven and engaged,” said Stacy Speas, senior vice president of loan servicing operations at Cornerstone Servicing in Denver, Colorado.

Remember your superpower.

Rosalie Berg, president and CEO of Strategic Vantage Marketing and Public Relations in Miami, Florida, said that leading a mortgage marketing and public relations agency for over two decades has taught her a valuable lesson: being a woman is a superpower.

“In an industry still predominantly male-driven, our unique skills and perspectives are not just beneficial — they are crucial. It’s imperative that we own our superpower, believe in our potential, and align ourselves with industry peers who recognize and value our worth,” Berg said.

“By embracing this belief, we not only excel but also pave the way for other women to follow.”

Read More Articles:

The Racial Homeownership Gap Is Worst For Black Millennials

The Spotlight Is On Buffalo, NY

“It’s Always A Hustle” Says Rapid Home Loans CEO

Sign up for our free newsletter.