The Financial Journey is a unique series focused on financial education and opportunities. These stories have been created through a strategic partnership between Wells Fargo and Word In Black.
WIB: Can you describe your role at Wells Fargo?
Dixon: I am an executive vice president and the head of External Engagement for Diverse Segments, Representation, and Inclusion. My team is responsible for stakeholder relationships and sponsorship activation with national partner organizations such as the NAACP, National Urban League, UnidosUS, the Asian Pacific Islanders American Scholars, Native Forward, and many more on behalf of Wells Fargo. Our relationships with external stakeholders, including advocacy organizations, nonprofits, and think tanks, are extremely important to our commitment to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) within Wells Fargo as well as in the communities where our employees live and work. These organizations bring vision and perspective and opportunities for collaboration to support communities and underrepresented and underserved individuals. We cannot achieve the goals of our DE&I commitments without engaging with these valued partners.
WIB: What would you say is the best part of the work you get to do?
Dixon: The best part of the work I am doing is to lead and drive our external engagement strategies forward while serving my team, our internal and external stakeholders and the communities and constituents who benefit from the work we do. I am a servant leader, manager-coach and strategist who is motivated and inspired by solving problems, helping others and creating opportunities for growth and advancement for individuals and communities. To me, Wells Fargo is a diverse community of skilled and talented individuals who can benefit from engaging each other and our stakeholders to foster learning and to achieve our business goals and objectives.
WIB: What does diversity and Inclusion mean for you?
Dixon: To me, diversity and inclusion is the acknowledgment and celebration of differences, while valuing, appreciating, respecting, and supporting people for who they are and for the unique perspectives they represent. If we are committed to diversity and inclusion, we are promoting the concept while demonstrating actions that drive full participation of all people, regardless of their diversity dimensions. If we are successful, we experience belonging. I also believe that equity is possible when we individually and collectively appreciate and value humanity and the importance of all people having the opportunity to thrive together.
WIB: What is one piece of career advice you can give to our readers?
Dixon: Be courageous, committed, and passionate in the work you do on the job. Daily you have an opportunity to positively impact the people around you as well as the space you occupy. There is no room for you to walk in fear or doubt but lean into your strengths and allow past successes and lessons you learned be the building blocks of confidence you need to continue onward and upward in your career. Of course, you will experience challenges along the way with some of the people you encounter and the projects you manage, but those bumps in the road are opportunities for growth and demonstrate your true value to the organization. The key is your perspective; will a set-back keep you down or will it serve as motivation to move forward and bring others along with you?
WIB: Having a role in banking can seem daunting at times, what do you enjoy most outside of work?
Dixon: I have a six-year-old grandson and a ten-year-old granddaughter.These two are my heart and make me a proud grandmother. They are part of the legacy from my husband and me, and it’s exciting to see how the two are learning and growing every day. Their future is so bright, and we look forward to seeing what they do in the years to come.
WIB: Describe your proudest moment to date.
Dixon: Receiving an honorary doctorate degree in humane letters from Livingstone College during their commencement exercises in December 2022. This is for what I have accomplished at Wells Fargo as a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion within the bank as well as the communities where we live and serve. I also had the distinguished honor of being the commencement keynote speaker, and my family, friends and colleagues joined me for this special moment in my life.
WIB: What would you say is the most important lesson about finances?
Dixon: First, understand that your money should work for you and not the other way around. Secondly, you should establish a strong foundation regarding your knowledge of the basic concepts of managing your finances – get educated about budgeting, understanding what credit is, and about the importance of investing. Also, make sure you schedule a meeting with a professional to discuss your career, family and retirement goals if you have not done so already.
WIB: Can you describe a pivotal moment in your career?
Dixon: A pivotal moment in my career was when I accepted my first professional job offer from Procter & Gamble Distributing Company (P&G) after they visited me on the campus of Tennessee State University in 1983. They recruited me to join the company after graduating with my degree in Speech Communication and Theatre that same year. I was not planning to work in Corporate America in sales and marketing. My plan was to pursue performing arts, broadcasting and media. My decision to join P&G was the start of an exciting journey of navigating my way through a corporate career. When I look back over my career, I made the right decision. Overall, there have been many pivotal moments and there are plenty of stories to tell!
WIB: What does having an “authentic voice” mean for you?
Dixon: Bringing 100% of who I am to work. Having the freedom to celebrate who I am every day, the courage to be authentic in sharing my thoughts, feelings and aspirations in every space I occupy regardless of who is around me. It’s having the strength to stand up for who and what I believe in regarding my faith, family, work and other areas of life respectively and unapologetically.