Wells Fargo plays an important role in our communities and our country — and this has never been more true as our communities recover from the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe we have both an obligation to do all we can and are in a position to provide meaningful support to our employees, communities, and customers.
What do you offer to our community?
Wells Fargo helps strengthen communities through:
- Diversity & Inclusion: Ensure all people feel respected and have equal access to resources and opportunities to succeed.
- Economic empowerment: Strengthen financial self-sufficiency and economic opportunities in underserved communities.
- Environmental sustainability: Accelerate a just transition to a low-carbon economy to help reduce climate change impacts.
What was your organization/company’s biggest accomplishment in the past six months—one year?
Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund Boosts Access to capital, technical expertise and long-term resiliency programs for minority-owned businesses. Wells Fargo launched the Open for Business Fund in 2020 as an approximately $400 million small business recovery effort across the U.S. to help entrepreneurs hardest hit by COVID-19 pivot their business, rebuild and thrive.
To date, the Open for Business Fund has deployed more than $84 million in philanthropic capital to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)—which has supported an estimated 16,000 diverse small businesses kept helped retain 50,000 jobs.
Locally, Wells Fargo granted $2 million Open For Business Fund grant to Accion serving Southern California. Funding strengthened Accion’s ability to provides loans to small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic in Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties through its COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Loan Program for Racially & Ethnically Diverse Entrepreneurs.
Which event or campaign do you have coming up that you would like to share with our readers?
Wells Fargo recently announced a major step in its efforts to support the transition to a low-carbon economy by setting a goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions — including its financed emissions — by 2050. The company will also launch an Institute for Sustainable Finance to manage the deployment of $500 billion of financing to sustainable businesses and projects by 2030, as well as support science-based research on low-carbon solutions and advocate for policies that enable client transitions.
Have you made a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within your organization/company and if so how are you demonstrating it?
While we have always believed in the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the calls for racial justice in 2020 reinforced the urgency of working to create a company culture with broad representation in who we are, how we think, and how we make decisions. Having an inclusive environment in which our differences and perspectives are respected and valued is both a business imperative and the right thing to do. In November, we welcomed Kleber Santos as head of Diverse Segments, Representation and Inclusion. Kleber reports to CEO Charlie Sharf and sits on Wells Fargo’s Operating Committee. In this new role, Kleber is responsible for leading efforts to advance all aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the company and in the marketplace, including partnering with line of business CEOs to deliver products and services specifically designed to meet the needs of our diverse customer base. We have a lot of work to do to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion into every facet of our operations, our processes, and our programs. The addition of Kleber and creation of this new group are critical to those efforts. Throughout 2020, we also announced our expanded commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. A few highlights are include:
- We added the concept of equity to our diversity and inclusion efforts in recognition of the systemic and structural challenges in our society that have contributed to disparities that exist today.
- We are committed to significantly increasing Black leadership over the next five years.
- Our Operating Committee members will be evaluated on their progress in increasing diverse representation at senior levels, and these evaluations will have a direct impact on year-end compensation decisions.
- In the U.S., we are requiring a diverse slate of candidates — and a diverse interview team — for most roles with total direct compensation of more than $100,000 per year.
- We require unconscious bias training for all managers, and are developing anti-racism training, which also will be mandatory for all managers.
- Wells Fargo made a commitment in March 2020 to invest $50 million in Black-owned Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs). After spending time understanding each MDI’s unique needs and growth strategy, Wells Fargo completed several investments, which we formally announced in the first quarter of 2021.
Join Wells Fargo to collaborate together and create a more equitable future for our community. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.