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Five Minutes With: Lola Oyewole, Ocwen Financial Corporation

Editor’s note: This feature originally appeared in the January issue of DS News, out now.

What diversity and inclusion best practices does Ocwen follow?

When we launched our D&I strategy in 2015, we wanted to ensure that we set a solid foundation for our D&I practices throughout the company by focusing on four key areas. The first is leadership, which is about embracing and fostering a culture of inclusion at all levels throughout the company. The second is Workforce, which is about attracting, developing, retaining, and advancing the best and brightest talent. The third focus area is supplier diversity, which is about achieving a range of suppliers, vendors, and service providers who align with our diversity and inclusion strategies. The fourth is community engagement, which includes ensuring that Ocwen has a significant presence in a core group of diverse, community-based organizations and philanthropies. This foundation has helped us to stay laser focused on specific actions that make an impact across the company.

As the leader of Ocwen’s D&I initiatives can you give an example of an initiative that has made a difference to your global network?

Yes, we recently launched the Ocwen Global Women’s Network, an affinity group aimed at empowering women and encouraging professional development, workplace flexibility, and equal representation of women at all levels of our company globally. Through this group, we’re conducting professional workshops and leadership events for all members. We are enhancing the exposure of women and highlighting their accomplishments internally and in the industry. We're also making sure that more women are represented as we bring in new leaders. Since we launched the Ocwen Global Women’s Network in 2017 we have increased the representation of women in leadership levels by 6 percent globally. That's a really big deal for us.

What steps do you recommend to minimize unconscious bias so that it helps business success?

Being aware that unconscious bias affects every area of our lives is key. Education is a good first step; it is important to train team members on what unconscious bias is so that they are fully aware of how biases show up and how it affects us in our daily interactions with each other. Ocwen provides mandatory unconscious bias training for all employees. Organizations can also develop objective indicators and outcomes for hiring, evaluation, and promotion. They can ensure that there are consistent criteria used to assess performance evaluations.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your job?

I absolutely love it when I've made a difference in someone's life. If I can help to unlock someone’s potential and bring that out, it is very satisfying. I also enjoy transforming cultures and improving the overall work environment. It’s hard work but when you see positive changes it is well worth it.

What did your 2018 Keystone Award nomination mean to you?

I'm incredibly honored to be nominated along-side such dynamic women. When I read their background, I’m extremely proud of the work and accomplishments that they've achieved in their companies as well as in the industry.

About Author: Radhika Ojha

Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas.

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