Celebrating Women in Title and Escrow
March 2, 2023
March is designated as Women’s History Month, an annual celebration that recognizes the contributions of women in our nation’s history. We take this opportunity to recognize the role of women in the real estate and title industries and how far we have come.
As difficult as it is to believe now, before 1974, women were not legally allowed to get a mortgage without having a male cosigner. Today, women outpace men in that regard.
According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), single women have bought more homes than single men every year since 1981.
In 1908, when NAR was founded, its membership was entirely male. The first woman REALTOR® was admitted in 1910 and, by 1975, a third of its members were women. Today, some 64 percent of real estate professionals are women.
The story is not much different in the title industry. In fact, when the American Land Title Association (ALTA) was established in 1907 it was called the American Association of Title Men. That changed with the admission of the first woman member in 1923 and, according to the State of the Title Industry Report, women today make up more than 80 percent of title industry professionals.
On the federal level, three out of 17 secretaries of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have been women. The first was Carla A. Hills, who served from 1975 to 1977. The second, Patricia R. Harris, who served from 1977 to 1979, was the first African American woman appointed to the post and is widely credited with bringing change to department focus, fighting housing discrimination and funding the revitalization of inner-city neighborhoods.
As the saying goes, “It’s been a long way.” It is with pride and great thanks that those in the title industry salute the women who represent us and join with the rest of the nation in honoring generations of trailblazing women who make us what we are today.
This material is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only.
Barbara Pronin is an award-winning writer based in Orange County, Calif. A former news editor with more than 30 years of experience in journalism and corporate communications, she has specialized in real estate topics for over a decade.