Women are powerful agents of change, and though diversity and gender equality have made progress, women continue to be vastly under-represented in decision-making in business, and the mortgage industry. That’s why it’s important that Nationwide Mortgage Bankers has committed to placing even more women in leadership roles. For the month of March, we interviewed five female leaders at NMB in order to dive into their journey and honor our women in leadership.

Week three of our celebration of women in leadership continues with Nationwide Mortgage Banker’s President, Jodi Hall.

Can you give me an idea of how and when, and why you got started in the mortgage business?
As many others in the industry, the mortgage business found me. I was a graduate student at John Carroll University in 1999 working as a graduate assistant, making $400 a month. I went to a job fair at the university and was recruited by my first mortgage company. Two weeks later I was handed a 10-inch thick binder of training docs and a phone book. The only things on my desk were a phone, a pen, and paper 1003s.

What are three events that helped to shape your life and career?
Event 1: My number one influence was my family and the community I grew up with. My parents and grandmother were the hardest-working individuals I have known. My father was extremely entrepreneurial. I grew up in a very small town in southeastern Ohio. My family showed me that passion and perseverance will outshine intelligence, skill, and socioeconomic status any day.

Event 2: Failure is another area that has shaped me. Early in my career, I climbed from processor to underwriter, to operation supervisor, to regional ops manager. As the subprime market started to unravel, NS decided to remove the regional layer of management. After years of building my career forward, I found myself needing to take a few steps back and interviewing for an Ops supervisor position. Which I didn’t get. I had slid down the ladder and hit my chin on every rung. My ego was busted and I thought about quitting. Ultimately, I was back to square one, taking a role as an Underwriter. The Monday following, I shook myself off, walked in, headed to my new cube, and sat down and underwrote loans. I asked to cross-train as an Account Executive, they agreed, and a year later I was the Sales Rookie of the Year.

Event 3: I have been fortunate enough in my career to be in a financial situation where it was okay to take risks. I have never felt trapped. Anytime I worked someplace that didn’t feel right, I was able to follow my gut and my heart. I have only needed to make that tough decision twice in my nearly 30-year professional career. Looking back, my decisions have always led me to a much better position than previously. Now I have found my forever home (at least until retirement) at Nationwide Mortgage Bankers, Inc and it feels right.

What energizes you about your work?
Working in an industry where the hardest workers are rewarded, regardless of their education and background. Working to grow the careers of leaders who will carry the industry well beyond my time. Working on technology solutions that will revolutionize the decades-long mortgage process so employees have more purposeful interactions with each other and loan officers have more purposeful interactions with their clients and referral partners.

Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.? How do you unplug yourself from work?
In the woods on my farm in Southeastern Ohio, with a chainsaw cutting wood or riding horses and ATVs.

Do women in your profession have a hard time getting promoted?
I don’t see it. It is an area I have never chosen to accept exists. I feel if I let that in my mind, I am allowing doubt to enter and it could become self-fulfilling. I have beat many men out for promotions and have also been threatened by those I was chosen over. SO from that aspect, it was hard. When I was promoted to an underwriter from processor, way back when, one of the men came to my desk and told me why it was BS, I didn’t deserve it, and physically threatened me. He was terminated and I found it as fuel to be the best underwriter and work towards the next promotion. Six months later, I was promoted to Ops Supervisor. His dad worked for the company and I was proud that he could share my success with his son.

How do you support the female mortgage professionals in your life?
I support all mortgage professionals in my life equally. I want to be seen as a leader in the industry and believe that I am. As an active member of The Mortgage Collaborative (a community of leaders representing many established mortgage companies), I lead as well as participate in many sessions hosted in and out of their conferences. I also participate in their Women’s Working Group. In addition to mentoring those within NMB, I also mentor a couple of women who have asked, outside of my company.

What advice can you share with young women trying to break into the mortgage field?
Get your foot in the door, learn as much about every facet of the industry, work like hell, seize opportunities, follow your heart and mind, never doubt that you are good enough, and your passion and perseverance will outdo education and experience every day!

About Nationwide Mortgage Bankers
Nationwide Mortgage Bankers (NMB) was born with the vision of demystifying mortgages through transparency, education, and customer support. NMB’s mission is to be our clients’ and referral partners’ trusted advisors, guiding them through the home financing process with the highest level of service and professionalism. “NMBNOW” “NMBNOW.Com” “Americasa” and “Americasa Home Loans” are registered DBAs of Nationwide Mortgage Bankers, Inc 3 Huntington Quadrangle, Suite 403N • Melville, NY 11747 (“NMB”). NMB is in no way affiliated with “Nationwide

Contact Nationwide Mortgage Bankers
Jarrett Stanley – EVP, Marketing
(833) 700-8884