Wells Fargo’s wealth management business is investigating complaints tied to gender bias, according to report in Friday’s Wall Street Journal.
Dozens of women have been interviewed, and there at least one human-resources complaint has been filed against Jay Welker — president of private bank and head of the wealth-management division since 2003 — over gender bias, the report explains.
According to The Journal, some women with Wells Fargo’s wealth unit said Welker frequently referred to them as “girls” and told them to put on “big-girl panties.”
Wells Fargo is “committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our business,” bank spokeswoman Kathleen Leary told the paper.
“We value all of our Wells Fargo team members, and we take seriously any allegation raised by a team member, or against a team member,” she explained. “We ensure that concerns raised are thoroughly and objectively investigated, while taking measures to protect confidentiality. Once an investigation is complete we are committed to taking any appropriate action.”
(Wells Fargo did not return ThinkAdvisor’s requests for a statement or interview about the matter.)
A group of 12 female regional managers of the wealth unit met in June to discuss their discontent, according to The Journal. The other 33 regional leaders are men. All 45 report to seven male senior managing directors.