April 24, 2013
By BEN ALVARADO / GUEST COLUMNIST
Valuing diversity is nothing new for Well Fargo, and it is an honor to be recognized by the Orange County Human Relations Commission for our efforts to foster diversity.
For more than 160 years, we have committed ourselves to the success of diverse customers and team members. For example, our instruction booklet distributed to Wells Fargo agents back in 1888 provided the following guidance: “Proper respect must be shown to all – let them be men, women, or children, rich or poor, white or black – it must not be forgotten that the Company is dependent on these same people for its business.”
Isn’t “proper respect” at the heart of what we all want for ourselves and for others?
Wells Fargo’s commitment to this principle continues today and can be seen in our business practices, employment practices and in the investments we make in diverse communities across the country.
To have a great company, you must have a diverse company – varied in products, geography and composition from top to bottom. To succeed, we need team members that understand the members of the unique communities we serve.
At Wells Fargo, diversity of our workforce helps us anticipate, innovate and serve the needs of the myriad communities where we do business. Diversity is not a “nice to have,” it’s a “must have.” Consider this: in Southern California alone, Wells Fargo team members speak more than 50 languages to provide in-language services to our customers who want to communicate in a language that is comfortable and familiar to them.
Recruiting and hiring is just the front end of building a diverse workforce. Companies need to make sure they have an inclusive culture in place that honors and respects the backgrounds and contributions of all team members.
The strength of Wells Fargo is found in its team members, in how they serve their customers and support their communities. Last year, in Orange County alone, our team members volunteered more than 15,000 hours with nonprofits. Wells Fargo encourages volunteerism through a program where each team member gets two workdays off a year to volunteer at a nonprofit of their choice.
Wells Fargo executives are required to be active in the community. We have board representation at a variety of organizations including United Way, Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Orangewood Children’s Foundation and the Illumination Foundation.
In our business practices, employment practices and community investments, we are committed to following the guidance offered to Wells Fargo agents so long ago: “proper respect must be shown to all.” Today, that means respect in the way we develop and offer products and services to diverse communities. Respect in the way we hire, train, promote and treat people in our workforce. And, respect in the way we invest in the communities we call home.
To learn more about Wells Fargo diversity initiatives, visit wellsfargo.com/about/diversity.
– Ben Alvarado is the senior vice president and president of Wells Fargo’s Orange County Community Bank. He lives in Rossmoor with his wife and two children.
Contributors to be honored at gala
Eleven outstanding Orange County community members, schools and community-policing projects are slated for recognition at the OC Human Relations Awards 42 gala on May 2 at the City National Grove of Anaheim. Disneyland will serve as the title sponsor for the OC Human Relations awards celebration.
We Are Anaheim/Somos Anaheim, a grassroots group representing residents who come from different walks of life, speak different languages, and have varied opinions, but come together with the common goal of working for a peaceful Anaheim, will be one of the 11 award recipients in the Diverse Community Leaders category.
For the first time at Awards 42, OC Human Relations will honor an Orange County business for embracing the principles of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
For ticket information for Awards 42, call 714-834-7181 or visit our Awards 42 page.
– Judy Iannaccone