As another Women’s History month comes to an end, I would like to take some time to reflect on notable women’s achievements from the past year. At a broad level, in the last month alone we saw:
- One of the most exciting women’s NCAA basketball tournaments to date, with three games remaining as of this writing to determine the winner
- A woman win the Oscar for best director in Jane Campion
- The nomination of the first Black female justice for Supreme Court in Ketanji Brown Jackson
- The only all-female Black WWII unit recognized with congressional honor in the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion
And these are just a few headlines. At Berkadia, we held our annual National Production Meeting at the start of March and brought together members of our production team to reflect on all that we accomplished in 2021 and to talk about goals for 2022. Berkadia had a record-breaking year in 2021 and with it, record-breaking contributions from our female investment advisors and mortgage bankers—with more than $3 billion in total production volume.
In the past year, we’ve also been able to attract and foster some of the leading female talent in the industry—adding Mary Ann King as Co-Head of Investment Sales and appointing Dori Nolan to lead Berkadia Institutional Sales. Our Affordable Tax Credit Syndication team is run by four powerhouse women in Corine Sheridan, Susan Moro, Marge Novak and Zenzi Reeves —who have all joined Berkadia within the past few years.
But an achievement I’m potentially prouder of is the record-breaking number of women who joined Berkadia in junior production roles or who received promotions in the past year. Creating new pathways to participation and career development is so important to making our industry look more like the people we serve, which is why I’m also especially proud of our expanding work with Project Destined and the Don Bosco Cristo Rey internship program to reach the up-and-coming generation.
And these pathways must exist outside of production. This year we promoted Brooke Boyarsky Pratt to our Management Committee as Chief Operating Officer, Production, and Deal Marketing and Corporate Marketing are led by Corinna Bennett and Ashlyn Delson, respectively. Berkadia’s exceptional female leadership and talent extends to our Servicing group, which is helmed by industry veterans Jan Sternin and Dana Jo Martino; our Innovation team, where Neda Fields and Jessica Harrison have been transforming our data-driven product development and unlocking new insights for our teams and our clients; our Human Resources department is run by Danielle D’Andrea; and beyond.
As with our National Production Meeting, it’s important (and exciting) to reflect on the strides we’ve made, but it is essential that we continue to look ahead at what more can be accomplished.
We launched our women’s employee resource group, BeWIN, in the past year in the hopes that women (and men) across all parts of our organization will come together and share experiences, resources and ideas to help us all move forward. At our most recent networking event this month, we had more than 70 virtual participants join to share with, and learn from, their colleagues.
I’m cognizant that the work to expand our diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging on behalf of women, and all team members, at Berkadia is a journey, not a destination, and that we have much more road to cover, but I’m excited about where we’re headed.