Wells Fargo’s David Miree Talks Creating More Equity Within The Banking Industry

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David Miree, Head of Consumer & Small Business Customer Segments at Wells Fargo, sat down virtually to chat with For(bes) the Culture to discuss diversity and inclusion within the American banking system. 

White executives make up 92.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. Miree, who is a part of the one percent of Black executives, says changing the playing field so that more people of color can take up leadership roles in corporations is a personal responsibility for all races. 

“Well, first of all, those stats are accurate. There’s a lack of diversity at the exec level across the U.S. and banking in general. So, therefore lies a huge opportunity to change,” explained Miree. Being one of few is a, I say, a recognition that much work needs to be done. I tend not really focus on when I walk into a room; there may be an absence of what I believe, what full representation in some cases should be. But, really spending the time trying to figure out how to progress and propel others to where they want to be, need to be and can be. And therefore, it’s a personal responsibility that should be placed in every leader every executive. And quite frankly, whether they are Black or another race to help begin to make that shift and make that change. 

Miree says Wells Fargo is also doing its part to combat racial bias within the banking industry.

“It’s easy to say that training solution. Now training has to be there. You have to have training to help to engage conversations and help to really try and shift people’s thinking about mindset and perspective. But, it will shift it for some who will have the desire to dig in and learn and maybe to deal with some of their own personal misconceptions about others. But that’s just one measure, one way. You have to have a much deeper way of measuring success and what those outcomes are. And that’s having some detailed processes, programs and initiatives that you can measure to understand what are the outcomes of those initiatives. Are they woking and really making a difference. And how does that shift the dynamic you see today in terms of percentages of leaders at the highest levels of an organization. 

“That’s what we’ve done [at Wells Fargo]. We’ve been very deliberate about putting actions behind what we’re saying. So, that we can really showcase and hold ourselves accountable to our commitments by measuring what those outcomes are.”

Miree says Wells Fargo is stepping up to promote diversity and inclusion within its company in “a number of ways,” starting with keeping its promises to build equity and creating more opportunities for small businesses and individuals.  

“The commitments we’ve made to minority depository institutions, to historically Black colleges and universities. We pledged $50 million to the 13 MBIs, and we have completed that capital commitment to them. But it didn’t stop there. We continued on said, ‘How can we better serve them. How can we help them with their strategic thinking in bringing some of our expertise to the table to work in partnership and share the best practices that can potentially incorporate those NBIs. So, it’s not just the capital infusion, which, you know what is excellent to do because everybody does that. But, how do you really ensure their sustainability that they’re able to more effectively support the communities in which they serve, the constituents who live there. The Black and Brown people that they are really trying to progress in small businesses and individuals, and that’s the work we continue to embark on today. That’s the critical piece.”

You can check out Miree’s full interview with For(bes) the Culture here. 

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