Panelists: Livia Konkel, Vice President of International Diversity and Inclusion at Wells Fargo
Lissiah Hundley, Head of Strategic Partnership and Client Fulfillment at DiversityInc, sat down with panelist Livia Konkel, who is the Vice President of International Diversity and Inclusion at Wells Fargo, to discuss global diversity and inclusion management and how Konkel designed Wells Fargo’s international strategy while keeping unique local needs in mind.
“We need to make sure that our strategy is all encompassing. We can have a global approach and yet also be sensitive to the local needs,” Konkel said. “We were able to align it to our enterprise strategy and, at the same time, make sure it was really relevant to all of the countries in which we are operating.”
- Design a global strategy that also keeps unique local needs in mind
- Diversity and inclusion work have three main categories: team member outcome, market outcomes and diversity and inclusion advocacy in community partnerships
- To define a company’s D&I strategy, understand the goals of that business
- What gets measured gets done
- Start your international strategy by hiring a leader and doing a lot of stakeholder assessments
The Three Main Categories of D&I Work
The three main categories to take into consideration with D&I work are: team member outcome, market outcomes and diversity and inclusion advocacy in community partnerships.
Team member outcome is about team member diversity and inclusion. It encompasses the whole life cycle of the team effort by making sure a company is attracting diverse talent and building inclusion.
Market outcomes is a focus on building diversity in clients, markets and suppliers. Inclusion advocacy is a very important aspect of the work. It is about focusing on building community partnerships.
“We make sure that we’re out in the community, finding partnerships with key diversity organizations,” Konkel said. “It’s the way that we hold our leaders accountable. This is also the piece where we make sure that our leaders are walking the talk, that they are taking part in the learning, and that they’re role modeling inclusive behaviors.”
Those three pillars make up Wells Fargo’s enterprise strategic network and it’s what Konkel was particularly excited about when she joined them in 2017.
But there’s more to D&I work than that.
Creating the Business Strategy
“You need to understand the goals of that business. You need to understand what’s happening in a particular country,” Konkel said. “Is the business growing or shrinking? Which lines of business are there? Is it a retail banking location or wholesale banking location? What types of team members are you trying to attract? All of those things are important to defining what the D&I strategy should be.”
At Wells Fargo, Konkel prioritizes recruitment strategies in markets that are experiencing a lot of growth in order to make sure the talent recruited is diverse. Konkel looks at the demographics and civic diversity of the international region she is working in. She looks at the demographics of similar companies to Wells Fargo as well as the gender split at universities. Looking at the racial and ethnic makeup of the country itself is also important.
Another aspect of recruitment is making sure the company complies with that country’s disability quotas and other employment equity laws.
“We need to make sure that we’re complying with any of the disability quotas or board diversity requirements or reporting on gender pay equity. A lot of these legal requirements are kind of seen as base level, certainly what you do first, maybe before you’re able to do more of the work and provide more of the benefits,” Konkel said. “But these legal and regulatory priorities can also influence a lot of the cultural and societal issues that are happening.”
What Gets Measured Gets Done
“What gets measured gets done. I am a firm believer in that,” Konkel said.
At Wells Fargo, Konkel and her team focus on collecting as much data as possible, some of which they had never done before, in order to improve their diversity and inclusion.
“This is a piece that we’re actually still working on to really understand which pieces of data are relevant, what should be stored in our HR system going forward and making sure that we’re best in class for every country,” Konkel said. “We just needed to identify the data that we wanted to collect, or capture, or report on, and get some reports produced, and start tracking that.”
How To Get An International D&I Strategy Started
The first thing Wells Fargo did to start their international D&I strategy was to hire Konkel. She took it from there.
“I went out and did 150 stakeholder assessments in a short period of time, a couple months. Met with people in every location, different lines of business, really to understand the needs in each country,” Konkel said.
What they developed from there was a three-year strategy, which they launched toward the end of 2018. While they worked on stakeholder assessments, they also worked on infrastructure and data collection.
“What we knew about our international locations is that, in order to amplify any effort and build awareness about diversity and inclusion, we needed a way to talk to our team members,” Konkel said. “We developed simple things like sections in our newsletter to talk about diversity and inclusion to more complicated pieces like new websites and areas just to showcase our work, and even some just simple targeted communications, and then even some changes within our internal messaging boards.”
To hear the full conversation with even more takeaways, listen here. For more on Allies, career advancement and advice, visit DiversityInc.com and DiversityIncBestPractices.com, follow us on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, and check out more webinars like this.)