Diversity Champion Finalist

Wells Fargo Advisors

Wirehouse Year founded:2009 Employees:262,000*

Wells Fargo Advisors’ next-generation talent program has brought career opportunities to more than 1,800 employees, expanding diversity in age, sexual orientation, gender and ethnicity. Candidates include military veterans, students at historically black colleges and universities, and parents reentering the workforce.

The program has reshaped how the company trains, mentors and compensates its advisers and managers; and it's been crucial for recruiting and retaining more women and minorities. “Across the industry, the older programs did not work very well for successfully training the next generation,” said Heather Hunt-Ruddy, head of client experience and growth. “Our own scale has enabled us to turn the system on its head.”

One new path comprises a 2 ½ year apprenticeship with salary and bonus, replacing two to four weeks of intensive training. It's attracted more people of color and women, who were turned off by commission-only sales positions. Moreover, in August, the firm welcomes its first military class from Hiring Our Heroes, a venture with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Soon-to-be veterans attend a 12-week rotation internship at the company's headquarters in St. Louis, before returning to finish their military service.

Contact David Dawkins, director, diverse client segments, at david.dawkins@wellsfargoadvisors.com to learn more about the firm's diversity and inclusion initiatives.

*Employee number is for all of Wells Fargo, of which Wells Fargo Advisors is a part.

— Vanessa Drucker

Lifetime Achievement

Rising Stars

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Outstanding Practices

Diversity Champions

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