82.1 F
San Fernando
Saturday, Sep 23, 2023

Wells Fargo’s Journey to Build and Sustain DE&I in the Workplace and Community

Diversity, equity, and inclusion encompass more than recognizing that our world is more complex than just gender, race, or sexual orientation. The unique combination of various dimensions makes each of us different from, yet similar to, each other.

At Wells Fargo, our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is deeply rooted in creating a culture that broadly represents who we are, how we think, and how we make decisions. This mindset will continue to produce an inclusive environment where these differences and perspectives are respected and valued. Therefore, it is not just a business imperative but simply stated – it’s the right thing to do.

Creating such an environment is a long-term commitment for Wells Fargo at all levels. It’s not a project, it’s a process. That means we have to monitor data on our progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion; do it clearly and continuously; understand where there’s more work to do, and act on it. It also means that we have to communicate our progress transparently.

We commit to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion and believe people across our workforce, our communities, and our supply chain should be valued and respected and have equal access to resources, services, products, and opportunities to succeed.

Our diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy provides common direction and clear goals across three defined areas:
• Workforce: We strive for a culture with inclusive policies and programs that attract, develop, engage, and retain the best talent.
• Marketplace: We aim to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into the business decisions we make every day, including how to increase the diversity of our customers and suppliers with whom we work.
• Communities: We demonstrate leadership and commitment through our advocacy and our interactions in the workplace and our communities.

We are committed to creating a company where we have diverse representation, perspectives, equity, and inclusion across all areas and levels. A truly diverse and inclusive workforce drives creativity, insight, and innovation in our business and allows us to respond effectively to the evolving needs of our employees, customers, stakeholders, and communities. Wells Fargo has established several programs, including BOLD and Glide—Relaunch, to build a diverse and inclusive workforce.

The Building Organizational Leadership Diversity (BOLD) program is designed to provide mentorship and sponsorship to employees primarily four and five levels below the CEO. In addition, the BOLD program helps develop and increase the visibility and mobility of high-potential talent within Wells Fargo. This program served more than 340 diverse leaders across the business in 2021.

• Glide—Relaunch
The Glide—Relaunch program is an eight-week “returnship” program that aims to bring talented professionals with at least seven years of experience back into the workforce after taking a voluntary, two-year minimum break for a life event. Since the program’s inception in 2020, the company has supported 115 individuals, 94% from historically underrepresented groups. It has an 88% conversion rate from the program to full-time employment with Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo has increased our annual spending with suppliers from underrepresented groups from $732 million in 2012 to over $1.3 billion in 2021, representing 13% of our total controllable spending.

Our company is working to ensure our suppliers represent the communities we serve. We have increased the amount of money we spend with suppliers from historically excluded communities and expanded our community reach as we work to support economic empowerment. In 2021, Wells Fargo marked our eighth consecutive year of spending more than $1 billion with certified diverse suppliers.

These financial milestones are the product of initiatives implemented to expand supplier diversity spending growth. In addition, in 2021, Wells Fargo received the President’s Legacy Award from the National Minority Supplier Development Council for our supplier diversity strategy. This award recognizes Wells Fargo’s work with minority business owners and our commitment to continue to support the growth of minority business enterprises.

One of Wells Fargo’s most successful capacity-building programs is our Bunker Labs Breaking Barriers Workshop Series, created to facilitate business growth and support among Asian American, Black and African American, Hispanic, Latino, veteran, military spouse, and women entrepreneurs. In just eight weeks, these entrepreneurs receive the business tools, resources, capital opportunities, and mentorship needed to help expand their businesses. The Bunker Labs’ “Breaking Barriers Workshop Series” demonstrates how investing in supplier diversity with significant funds and meaningful programming can facilitate business growth and social change.

Wells Fargo is opening pathways to economic opportunity, championing safe and affordable housing, empowering small businesses to thrive, and accelerating a low-carbon future. In 2020, Wells Fargo established the Open for Business Fund to provide small business owners with access to capital and resources needed to navigate the ups and downs of the pandemic through a roughly $420 million national small business recovery effort.

The Open for Business Fund supports organizations serving small businesses led by Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian American, Native American, and Alaska Native entrepreneurs. Wells Fargo also offers capital, technical assistance, and long-term recovery support for businesses as they manage the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, it’s estimated that the company has reached more than 152,000 small business owners, helping maintain more than 255,000 jobs.

Wells Fargo is committed to doing the work to ensure we provide our employees with an inclusive and respectful workplace where every career can flourish. While we have more work to do, we have taken steps that include creating a new Diverse Segments, Representation and Inclusion organization led by a senior executive who reports directly to the CEO.

The Diverse Segments, Representation and Inclusion team is responsible for creating programs that support career mobility and a sustainable talent pipeline to provide career opportunities for underrepresented employees — including in our management positions. This team also develops a much deeper understanding of the needs of our customer base by working directly with leaders in our lines of business to identify opportunities that may help remove barriers contributing to the wealth gap that still persists in our society. In addition, the team works to increase supplier diversity through our procurement spend and other means to support the growth of minority-owned businesses.

Within our Commercial Banking division, we have established regional diverse segments pod leaders who facilitate a team of banking professionals focused on outreach to underrepresented groups and increasing access to capital to support diverse-owned or diverse-led businesses. I am honored to serve as our Southern California Commercial Banking Diverse Segments pod leader.

DuVon G. Davis is a Los Angeles-based senior lead commercial relationship manager for Wells Fargo Commercial Banking. He can be reached at duvon.davis@wellsfargo.com.

Featured Articles

Related Articles