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Michael Wakefield and his partner, Bill Trento, stand in front of the red semitrailer they drive to make appearances with the Wells Fargo stagecoach and horses.
Michael Wakefield and his partner, Bill Trento, drive a semitrailer throughout the Pacific Northwest to make appearances with the Wells Fargo stagecoach and horses.
Photo Credit: Hector Batista

Driving with pride as the ‘face of Wells Fargo’

Michael Wakefield shares his experience as a Wells Fargo stagecoach driver — and how he feels supported in the company’s inclusive environment.

From the moment he first interviewed to become a stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo in the late 1990s, Michael Wakefield felt comfortable and included within the company.

“Being gay has never been a problem, and I can be open about it,” Wakefield said. “If I go to a town and talk to a bank manager, I’m open about the fact that I’m gay, and it’s not a problem. I am who I am.”

Today, more than two decades later, he remains a stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo’s Stagecoach Experiences program.

Michael Wakefield takes pride in Wells Fargo’s tradition and inclusion as he drives the Wells Fargo stagecoach in a parade in Salem, Oregon. (3:42)

Many Wells Fargo team members and contractors like Wakefield have attested to and appreciated the company’s diverse and inclusive environment. For 31 years, since Wells Fargo added sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy in 1987, the company has provided more than $50 million in support to LGBT organizations.

In addition to providing external support, Wells Fargo has had a PRIDE Team Member Network for 27 years, allowing more than 12,000 team members to connect, leverage, learn, and build their skills. In May, DiversityInc magazine ranked Wells Fargo one of the Top Companies for LGBT Employees.

In 2017, Wells Fargo launched the Standing Together campaign to celebrate its 30 years of commitment to the LGBT community and recognized the 25th anniversary of its first participation in the San Francisco Pride parade. The company continues to participate in Pride festivals and events around the country, some of which feature Wakefield at the helm of the stagecoach.

“Driving the Wells Fargo stagecoach is the pinnacle of my career. … I’m very proud to be associated with the company,” Wakefield said.

Contributors: Hector Batista and Dustin Wilson
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