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Inside WEX

WEX’s diversity, equity, and inclusion: Reflecting on milestones

February 1, 2024

As we begin a new year and are celebrating the first day of Black History Month, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the strides made in the last year around diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization. Commitment to DEI is an integral part of how a business functions. Forbes’ Mark Perna recently reported that DEI is a major factor in employee recruitment and retention – with 71% of job seekers actively choosing companies that show commitment to DEI values. Additionally, a more diverse workforce can broaden our perspective and knowledge as a growing company, allowing us to reach new markets and connect with a wider audience. Throughout this past year, WEX has continued on this journey with purpose – dedicating ambitious efforts to embracing and celebrating unique perspectives, backgrounds, and voices that collectively enrich our workplace. 

From introducing new initiatives to hosting transformative events, the commitment to nurturing a workplace where everyone feels valued, heard, and empowered has been at the forefront of this year’s organizational plans. From the onboarding process to engagement throughout an employee’s journey, DEI is a relevant force that keeps us motivated and encouraged to engage with each other and promote positive change within the WEX community.

Bringing DEI to the mainstage at our internal sales and marketing gathering, IGNITE, in 2023

To kick off the year, WEXers in the sales and marketing organizations attended an annual celebratory gathering, Ignite, allowing them to meet colleagues face-to-face, deepen friendships and come together to celebrate the prior year’s accomplishments. At the 2023 event the DEI team was there in full force and WEX’s executive leadership team (ELT) members highlighted the pivotal role that diversity, equity, and inclusion plays in WEX’s operations. ELT members emphasized its importance in our workplace culture and its impact on our collective success. This annual event served as a launchpad for DEI in 2023 – the first year we had a significant presence at the event, uniting us in our commitment to spearheading DEI initiatives throughout the year.

WEX’s employee resource group (ERG) leaders attended the event and held membership meetups. Their presence at Ignite gave 700+ members the chance to personally connect with their ERG chairs and engage with communities within the organization to which they hold an affinity.

ERGs went all out in 2023 in annual celebrations 

In recognition of the annual events that celebrate diversity in culture, race and sexual orientation, the ERG’s made the most of the holiday calendar. 

  • Black History Month: The Black Growth Council’s WEX Black History Month Series hosted programs encouraging Black professionals to strengthen their financial literacy and express culture both at home and in the workplace.
  • Women’s History Month: Women in Tech and Women of WEX explored the issues disproportionately impacting girls today with the Girls Empowerment Network and mentorship programs.
  • Volunteer Awareness Month: NexGen and Women in Tech hosted a young professionals panel, discussing the social responsibilities of young professionals in business, and highlighting the importance of giving back to the community through volunteer work. WEXcessibility and Parents @ WEX, along with the Benefits Team presented Bright Horizon Elder Care – a service provider for employees caring for their elder loved ones.
  • Asian American Pacific Islander Month: The new Asian Alliance ERG was launched, creating an inclusive space within WEX for the multitude of different identities that comprise the global Asian population. 
  • Summer of Pride: WEX Pride organized a series of events to amplify the voices of the LGBTQ+ community through entertaining and engaging events, like Drag Queen Bingo and a series of live artist performances.
  • Hispanic Heritage Month: LatinX hosted a Cafecito con Carlos Carriedo – a discussion with WEX’s COO, illustrating his journey as a leader and providing advice for aspiring LatinX leaders. 
  • Veteran’s Day: WEX Vets hosted a Fireside Chat with Preet Chandi – a British Army veteran and the first woman of color to complete a solo expedition to the South Pole, in a discussion recognizing the ambition and bravery of veterans and how veteran experiences can be a gateway to strong career leadership opportunities.

To encourage ongoing development of programs and events, ERG members are surveyed twice a year. The pulse surveys aim to gauge the effectiveness of events and gather insights for improvements, allowing ERG leaders to continue creating relevant engagement opportunities.

The ERG town hall united leaders and inspired new members to join

In May, the DEI team hosted an ERG Town Hall, giving a platform for ERG leaders across the organization to convene and discuss points of interest for each ERG impactful to the broader WEX community. It served as a forum to highlight each ERG – what they stand for and their goals – and allowed them the opportunity to invite new members to join. The response to the event was remarkable, with close to 500 new members joining ERGs globally.

Expanding DEI globally to ensure inclusion of WEX’s international locations

With a global presence and a network of remote employees spanning internationally, WEX wants to ensure that its commitment to inclusion extends to every corner. Embracing diversity across borders and ensuring every remote employee feels a part of the community remains an important commitment in creating a connected work-force. WEX Brazil embraced DEI with a variety of events this year from celebrating Black Awareness Day in recognition of their Black-identifying employees to hosting Women in Leadership panels and Pride events. Other global offices followed suit in creating events to uplift and support each other from international locations.

2023 DEI Leadership Summit

The second annual DEI Leadership Summit was a celebration of ERG leaders’ dedication, recognizing the impact that their work has on cultivating an inclusive company culture at WEX. This event provided our ERG board chairs with personal and professional development programs and lessons in leadership. The summit created the exposure that leaders need to gain a diverse perspective, outside of their own ERG, to be able to relate to the experiences and affinities that they may not usually be exposed to. A crucial part to ERG leadership is fostering an inclusive environment while avoiding exclusivity. Acknowledging the uniqueness of our identities is important, but equally important is embracing the multitude of cultures we may represent, which contributes to our collective identity. The summit gives ERG leadership the chance to take a wider look at the many ways they are successful as a cross-functional team. 

Finding brand activation in diverse spaces through conference attendance

This year’s strategy also included prioritizing increased participation in industry conferences dedicated to uplifting and empowering diverse professionals. The increase in conference attendance was dual-purpose as it served to increase brand exposure for WEX, while also exposing our internal teams to a broader perspective on race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual preference. 

The National Black MBA Conference, which we attended in September, created an inclusive space tailored for Black professionals seeking opportunities in finance and business strategy. The Prospanica Conference in October empowered Hispanic professionals looking to achieve their full educational, professional, and social potential. The Afrotech Conference – the largest multicultural tech gathering in the U.S. – served as the catalyst for startups, entrepreneurs, and technological innovators within the Black community. 

WEX invested this year in the McKinsey’s 2023 Connected Leadership Program as well, allowing WEX cohorts – composed of Asian, Black, and Hispanic/Latino members – to develop their talents and drive leadership opportunities for underrepresented groups within the organization.  

These events and programs provided invaluable exposure to fresh perspectives, broadening our horizons and building up the DEI mindset that will steer us into a sustainable, progressive future.

Underlining DEI commitments through diverse spending 

Through a strategic partnership between the DEI team and the procurement team, the Vendor Inclusion Program was launched and has been instrumental in growing our exposure to suppliers that mirror the rich cultural tapestry of the country, and actively contribute to the growth of diverse communities. In addition, we have expanded our brand exposure to diverse owned companies through active participation in the national conferences for The National Minority Supplier Development Council, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

DEI insights from ELT members were impactful and increased employee engagement

The ELT members made a substantial impact this year by raising their voices as business leaders, in sharing valuable insights on DEI from their vantage point. Leading by example, they actively engaged in various diversity and inclusion events, emphasizing the important role of leadership involvement in making progress towards embracing diversity and inclusion on an industry level.

Becoming a part of the diverse fabric of WEX by joining an ERG

Through the dedication of our community, the WEX ecosystem has flourished. Since 2019, the ERG’s have expanded to ten unique groups:

Asian Alliance, Black Growth Council, LatinX, NexGen, Parents@WEX, WEX Pride, WEX Vets, WEXcessibility, Women in Tech, Women of WEX

Each group, backed by an ELT member, chair, and a dedicated network of members, offers a robust support system for professional and personal growth. Beyond creating engaging programs and voicing meaningful dialogue, the groups play a vital role in shaping the company’s trajectory and influencing its direction by attracting new voices into the mix, allowing us to improve decision-making, strategy, and innovation. 

So as we keep learning how to mend the interests of corporate and culture, we can develop a harmonious dynamic that fuses the strengths of our corporate values with our diverse cultural values, to drive the organization forward. It’s through this collaborative spirit that we’ll continue to grow.

WEX is a leading, global fintech solutions provider, simplifying payments and back-end business processes in the Mobility, Corporate Payments, and Benefits areas. WEX values diversity and equity and is an equal opportunity employer. Search jobs on our careers site.


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