You may be familiar with Sarah Tucker aka The Mortgage Mum, but we speak with the man behind the scenes
In the male dominated world of mortgages, The Mortgage Mum brand is pushing past the barriers that previously held women back and helping them towards working in a way that is totally flexible - a brand that encourages its team to have a sensible work/life balance and to work in a way that suits each team member and their family.
A driving force behind that push is Jamie Lewis (pictured), an industry veteran who is passionate about pushing women forward and maintaining the family unit for each individual. When it comes to team meetings, he is often the only man in a room full of women, something that he sees as a real contrast with how the industry so often appears.
“That’s how women have been turning up in our industry for years, because it’s been so male dominated and I’d often go to meetings where you’d have a roundtable and there’d be 20 [people] with 19 guys and one woman in that [group],” he said.
Lewis is the managing director of the Affinity Group, as well as director and co-founder at The Mortgage Mum, and has been in the industry for 20 years. His strength as a boss and business owner, he believes, is being open to new ideas and different ways of working in order to make things work for his team.
“I run a fully flexible working policy, but I don’t need everybody in here all the time, I don’t care where they are... If somebody walks in at 10, I’m cool with it,” he said. “Why shouldn’t they? That’s fine, as long as by the end of the month we’ve all got to where we need to be, then yeah, cool go and see your kids play football, swim, you know, go and pick them up from school.”
Lewis’s viewpoint on helping people achieve the best balance for their families is refreshing and inspiring - indeed his recollection of his meeting with Tucker, an ex-colleague who had got in touch about a work proposal, is heart-warming. Tucker had come to the meeting with her newborn son and was looking for a flexible role within the typically inflexible mortgage industry.
“My thinking behind it and when I offered Sarah that job was, I was offering that opportunity to her,” he explained. “You know, I’m looking at a little baby Joshua in front of me thinking your life is going to be better if I can give your mum a job because she will be around as you grow up young man - you don’t even know it, but I can do that and so [that was] my thinking behind it.” At a time when flexible working was not commonplace, this was a real leap of faith for Lewis and indeed was the start of what would become The Mortgage Mum.
When The Voice happened, Lewis and Tucker realised that this was a ‘strike while the iron is hot’ moment and the bare bones of The Mortgage Mum was set in place. After Tucker left the competition and was devastated to have not got to the semi-finals, Lewis saw that he needed to pick his friend and business partner back up and show her the bigger picture.
“It was a case of picking her back up, but [also] actually showing her that this was meant to be... like it was meant to play out like this, she was always going to be a better mortgage person spokesperson for females in work,” he said. “For a whole gender shift… it needed someone who was going to be the shining light.”
It was the original plan that Lewis would be running The Mortgage Mum business from behind the scenes with Tucker being the face of the brand and looking after the front end, the training and the brokers. Today, Lewis and Tucker’s partnership continues to thrive as the brand moves from success to success.