Women should be at home taking care of their children, some of the executives said they had been told over the years by Jay Welker, president of Wells Fargo’s private bank and head of the wealth-management division since 2003. Qualified women had recently been turned down for several top roles that went to male applicants. When the women raised concerns, they felt ignored.
The meeting represented most of the 12 regional managing directors in wealth management, out of 45, who are women. Above them, all seven senior managing directors overseeing regions are men. The other senior wealth-management roles held by women are positions that, because they don’t run a line of business or oversee profits and losses, lack the same prestige and responsibility that comes with making money for the bank... Some of the executives said part of the investigation focuses on at least one formal human-resources complaint against Mr. Welker over gender bias. Some of the executives said Mr. Welker often called women “girls” or told them to put their “big girl panties on.”.. The “meeting of 12” and the internal investigation show how the #MeToo movement, which has shaken up Hollywood, politics and business, is spilling into a broader discussion about whether women are being fairly promoted into senior roles where they can influence an organization’s culture.The conversation is particularly acute in industries that, like wealth management, have long been dominated by men.. Wells Fargo’s wealth and investment management unit, which includes the wealth-management division, was already in tumult before the gender bias investigation. Whistleblowers have alleged that financial advisers there pushed clients into products or investing platforms intended to generate more revenue for the bank and bigger bonuses for employees rather than the best returns for customers