Like most large financial services firms, Wells Fargo & Co. has a number of mentoring and networking programs designed to help women and minorities move up the executive ranks. But while diversity programs are important, they don't amount to much if they don't produce results, and few financial firms boast as many women in key roles as the $1.2 trillion-asset Wells.

Of the 11 direct reports to Chairman and CEO John Stumpf, three are women. The heads of mortgage lending, marketing, risk management, global research and economics, and several other divisions and business lines are all women, as are 15 of Wells' regional bank presidents.

Pat Callahan, who, as head of Wells' office of transition, oversees the integration of the Wachovia acquisition, says senior management "has no doubts about the business case" for appointing more women and minorities to top executive posts. If a large company like Wells is serving a diverse population then it should have a workforce that reflects its customer base, she says. (Diversity is so much part of Wells' culture that Stumpf himself chairs its Enterprise Diversity Council.)

Wells sets measurable goals for inclusion, though it doesn't set quotas. Indeed, women executives are expected to not just nurture female talent, but up-and-coming male executives as well.

In managing the Wachovia integration, Callahan has made sure that executives stay focused on diversity even as they put in long hours completing one of largest mergers in banking history. On that front, Callahan and her team have been busy combining the best of both Wachovia and legacy Wells programs to develop even more robust training and leadership initiatives for its now 278,000 employees. "In many ways our main job is planning for succession, and we need to pay attention to people's development," says Callahan, 57. "There's nothing more important."

The Make-up
Management/Operating Committee Members: 30
Women Management/Operating Committee Members: 10
Percent women: 33.3%

Corporate Officers: 13
Women Corporate Officers: 4
Percent women: 30.7%

Power Players
Carrie Tolstedt
, Sr. EVP, Community Banking
Cara Heiden, Co-President, Mortgages
Avid Modjtabai, EVP, Technology and Operations
Laura Schulte, Regional President
Diana Starcher, EVP, Customer Connection
Lisa Stevens, Regional President
Sylvia Reynolds, EVP, Marketing
Pat Callahan, EVP, Office of Transition
Mary Coffin, EVP, Loan Servicing
Carol Athanasiu, EVP, Risk Management

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