by Laura Shen
At WEX, we’re simplifying the business of running a business, and we’ve created a powerful ecosystem that offers seamlessly embedded, personalized solutions for customers around the world. To stay a step ahead of our customers’ needs, we’re constantly expanding with innovative solutions.
The best way to cultivate innovative and transformative solutions is by fostering a fully engaged workforce and ensuring they feel valued. When our employees know we’re invested in them, they invest in us. We’re committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture at WEX.
As we continue our efforts on diversity, today we are proud to publish our inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion report, where we review our current state and outline our future plans.
WEX’s mission statement lays the groundwork for DE&I
Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion mission statement is to ensure that:
- WEX is a place where everyone feels like they belong and can bring their whole self to work
- WEX treats everyone equally and with respect
- WEX celebrates differences
Elevating employee resource groups to increase a culture of diversity
We strive to create a culture where everyone sees a long-term future for themselves at WEX. As part of that, they need to see opportunities and support systems for growth. They have to believe in our mission and see their unique contributions and strengths as vital to that effort. As we seek to create an engaging and inclusive culture, employee resource groups (ERGs) are key to our strategy for attracting and retaining diverse talent.
In 2019, WEX had one ERG, Women of WEX. Today, we have nine, each supported by an executive sponsor, employee chair, leadership board, and members. Through our ERGs, WEX is committed to helping every one of our employees find community and opportunities to grow personally and professionally. Among the many changes ERGs have helped advance at WEX, in 2021, we added Juneteenth as an observed company holiday and amended our company-wide email signature template to offer a personal gender pronoun option. Our ERGs are part of the fabric of WEX. More than just providing engaging programming and places for meaningful dialogue, WEX ERGs are critical to our DEI strategy and play a vital role in influencing the direction of the company.
I am a member of the Black Growth Council, LatinX, and Women of WEX groups. Through these experiences, I have learned more than I could ever have imagined—even within my own community. I appreciate the inclusiveness and the openness each group offers. I love that I am being forced out of my comfort zone, which is something I needed in order to grow.
— Sondra Mellion, Project Manager
As we formed the Women in Tech ERG, we were supported every step of the way. Everyone at WEX, regardless of their gender identity, has been extremely supportive of our mission and has encouraged us to grow. Serving in a leadership role for Women in Tech has helped me hone my professional leadership skills and helped me grow and develop in my career.
— Rachel Carpenter, Data Scientist, Risk
Black Growth Council
The Black Growth Council at WEX fosters an empowering atmosphere that encourages relationship building, collaboration, and advancement opportunities for Black employees and others.
Latin X embraces members’ cultura and Latin heritage as the group aims to achieve social change through education, mentorship, and cultural understanding.
NexGen is a community of early career professionals at WEX focused on connecting and empowering leadership skills through programming that enables personal and professional growth.
WEX Pride provides an open and safe network of peers for the LGBTQIA+ community at WEX, while supporting all employees in fostering an environment where diversity and inclusion thrive.
Parents@WEX offers moms and dads support, resources, and education, recognizing that family is a top priority for many of our employees who want both professional and parental success for themselves.
WEXccessibility gives employees with disabilities, and anyone who joins in support of their colleagues with disabilities, a sense of community and commonality as they partake in education, advocacy, and awareness-building.
Women in Tech
Women in Tech realizes the strength that’s built through diversity in tech, helping women—and everyone—pave meaningful career paths at WEX.
Women of WEX
Women of WEX is a community of female-identifying employees and allies fostering the continued success of women at WEX through enriching programs and events.
WEX Vets convenes the WEX community of veteran professionals and military family members to engage, mentor, and empower one another through interactions with leaders, through recruitment, and through social and professional development programming.
Diversity snapshot at WEX
Our DE&I report includes data from January 2021 to March 2022 which covers movement toward achieving an inclusive culture. We measured progress through employee surveys, annual pay equity analysis, recruitment, and development of diverse and underrepresented talent. We tracked training completions, measured outcomes from our DEI programs and evaluated the impact of our inclusive culture on our business results and corporate brand.
Leading together for a stronger culture of DE&I at WEX
WEX is a growth-minded company where innovation and deep collaboration are inseparable from our success. As we look to the future, we recognize that the most important condition for accelerating the positive impact we can have in the world is by ensuring that our workforce has a diversity of cultures, backgrounds, identities, thoughts, and experiences that are equally valued.
In my new role as Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, I’m responsible for the articulation and execution of WEX’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy. My goal is to strengthen the diversity of our workforce while also making sure every WEX employee feels a sense of belonging and support. Initiatives that are underway include increasing transparency to diversity metrics, tying Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion actions to performance objectives, elevating the impact of WEX’s nine employee resource groups, and embedding diversity and inclusion into WEX’s Ways of Working.
The work ahead of us is about more than the leadership of one person. We believe that everyone is a leader at WEX, and that there’s a significant role for all of us to play. In order to nurture a core set of shared beliefs and desired behaviors, we established a Leadership Expectations Program to drive consistency across our organization. At WEX, it’s not just about what our employees do and achieve in their respective roles, but also about how they go about their work.
I feel that managers, team leads and executives have spent time to get to know me, which makes me feel more comfortable being myself in the workplace. I have been asked for my opinion and have seen some of my ideas implemented, which shows mutual trust and respect.
— N. Ramone Jones, Account Executive, WEX Fleet
Our Diversity & Inclusion team and the employee resource groups at WEX drive important conversations, education, and connections. We’re elevating crucial voices within the WEX community, and I feel like I’m really learning from other WEXers.
— Kate Odden, Manager of Tech Strategy and Operations
I have been fortunate in having thoughtful, open-minded managers throughout my time here at WEX that have been extremely supportive of me from an inclusion and diversity standpoint. They have taken an interest in national/world events that could impact me and asked for feedback on what they can do to better align with me as a diverse person.”
— Gene Bell, Senior Director, Client Services
Recruiting and developing a diverse and inclusive workforce
Reaching further with recruitment to cultivate a more diverse workforce
As we continue to grow and employ a more distributed workforce, we aim to create a global team that is representative of our communities and the customers and partners we serve. Inclusive hiring practices have been introduced in the past few years. Our talent acquisition team and hiring managers continue to increase our aperture for talent.
WEX’s recruitment outreach extended to 1,076 colleges and universities in 2021, up 62% from 2019. We recruit from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and we sponsor internships and early career programs focused on giving people of color equitable opportunities. In 2021, WEX was a founding member of the Maine Diversity Summer Associate (D1L) Program, a competitive 10-week program for first-year law students who have a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion and strong academic performance. In 2021, our summer internship program was recognized by Vault.com’s “100 Best Internships of 2021” and “Best Tech & Engineering Internship” lists. WEX was also named to WayUp’s list of “Top 100 Internship Programs in the U.S.” in 2021 for the third year in a row.
Extending DE&I training to all employees, board members, contractors, and vendors
In 2021, WEX invested in required unconscious bias training for all full-time employees, board members, contractors, and third-party vendors. Nearly all employees (99%+) have participated in this training, which includes education and resources on building an inclusive workplace, understanding biases, workplace impacts, and tactics to disrupt these biases.
Creating space for conversation about what it means to be an inclusive workplace
WEX, in close partnership with our ERGs, hosts all-company speaker series and educational sessions that highlight internal DEI initiatives and celebrate cultural moments. Examples from 2021 include:
- “A Celebration of International Women’s Day” with Dr. Christine Izuakor, sponsored by Women of WEX and Women in Tech
- “Juneteenth: A Virtual Celebration” with WEX’s Black Growth Council
- “Leading in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” featuring WEX board member Derrick Roman and MFS Investment Management Chief DEI Officer Michelle Thompson-Dolberry
- “Latin Heritage Month: DEI in the Workplace” with Ramon Escobar, SVP of talent recruitment and development at CNN Worldwide
Prioritizing more inclusive philanthropy to further a culture of inclusion
In 2021, WEX gave more than $1.1 million in philanthropic gifts, with the aim of supporting organizations that are empowering diverse and underserved communities through education, the arts, health and well-being programs, and more. We believe in supporting communities where social equality is a priority and have aligned our giving with organizations that uphold those values. Among our many corporate gift recipients, WEX was proud to support United Way of Southern Maine’s racial equity fund. The fund strengthens organizations led by and serving people of color who are seeking to better their communities. Recipients of the money from the fund serve at least 50% people of color. WEX is also proud to support the Indigo Arts Alliance, an artist collaborative focused on cultivating the artistic development of people of African descent through mentorships and partnerships. WEX has also been a longtime partner of EqualityMaine, where our funds help sustain programming that benefits the LGBTQIA+ community in Maine.
Driving inclusion with comprehensive benefits
We believe in designing and offering a comprehensive benefits program that supports our employees’ individual needs throughout their personal journeys. From a compensation perspective, WEX is committed to pay equity and conducts global pay equity analyses annually. We strive to ensure that, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity, employees earn the same pay for the same work. Pay is just one aspect of supporting equality in the workplace, though, and we are committed to dismantling barriers and eliminating disparities with comprehensive benefit offerings. Our inclusive benefits and well-being programs are designed to support our workforce today and into the future. Highlights of our benefits program include:
- Conception benefits that allow employees to build their families
- Paid parental leave, adoption assistance, and child and elder care support
- Coverage for gender dysphoria and related services
- Alignment of domestic partner coverage for all available benefits, including health and life insurance
- Tuition reimbursement
- Flexible work arrangements
- Focus on career, talent, and leadership development
- Investment for financial security through our retirement match and company stock offerings
- Volunteer time off
We are committed to integrating our DEI strategy into our benefits program in order to be reflective in our culture and values, allowing all employees to contribute and thrive at WEX.
Staying focused on progress on DE&I, the WEX way
WEX is a global commerce platform operating in large, growing markets. Our unifying purpose of simplifying the business of running a business is at the center of everything we do, and it’s the north star that guides our success. Our commitment to putting diversity, equity, and inclusion at the core of our culture is about more than just the experience of WEX employees. It’s about how WEX positively impacts all our stakeholders.
When we lead with diverse perspectives, we unlock limitless potential for the future of our company and, by extension, the companies we count as valued customers. We are moving in the right direction, but we have plenty of progress yet to realize.
Our inaugural DE&I report emphasizes our commitment to embracing and holding ourselves accountable for the DEI vision that we know will transform WEX for the better. As we help make the business of doing business better for our customers, we must first make it better for ourselves. Our culture has and will always be at the core of what makes WEX stand out. We are devoted to strengthening that legacy in the years to come, and we look forward to sharing another update on our progress later in 2022 as part of our ESG Report.
I’ve been at WEX 28 years and counting. I’ve seen a lot of change for the better when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are a company built to solve problems, and that requires people of all identities and backgrounds to participate and help grow our business. It’s up to us to remove the blinders and invest in the leadership, values, and skills provided by every single person here at WEX.
— Carlos Escobar, National Account Manager, Large Fleet
To learn more about WEX, a growing and global organization, please visit wexinc.com.
Read WEX's inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion report.