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Wells Fargo Company

A pioneer for female leaders

A Look Back On Those Who Paved The Way For Women At Wells Fargo

Below is an article originally written by Alyssa Bentz, Wells Fargo Historian, and published on March 2, 2018. Go to the Wells Fargo Page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

From the 1870s to the 1910s, Wells Fargo hired more than 350 women to manage its express offices in towns across the U.S., from California to New York. As the company began opening its bank branches in the early 20th century, though, only men were appointed managers. That all changed in 1967, when Shirley Nelson made history by becoming the bank's first female branch manager. Nelson earned her promotion through years of hard work. By 1967, she had worked in the banking industry for 17 years. She started out in entry-level positions, including as a customer attendant in the Safe Deposit department. Over time, she pursued new opportunities, gaining experience as a loan officer, operations supervisor, and assistant cashier. She lobbied her manager to give her more responsibilities and eventually worked her way up to assistant manager of a busy branch in Stonestown, a suburb of San Francisco, in 1964.

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