A baby lays on a person with long hair's shoulder.
A baby lays on a person with long hair's shoulder.
Inside the Stagecoach
June 16, 2021

Five years of supporting our work family

Through Wells Fargo’s paid leave programs, nearly 63,000 parents and caregivers have found peace of mind while navigating life’s happy moments and challenges.

Ashley Gillaspie became a first-time parent during a global pandemic. Her baby boy, Griffin, was born in October 2020, a time when baby showers were virtual and loved ones were socially distant due to COVID-19. The pandemic’s challenges made her company’s parental support programs all the more beneficial, she said.

Wells Fargo’s parental leave “gave me time to bond and to learn the ins and outs of being a parent,” said Gillaspie, a Wells Fargo sales advisory consultant in Des Moines, Iowa. “Griffin is a COVID baby. Without this leave, I would’ve been a much more nervous parent — especially because we weren’t able to rely on friends and family for help due to COVID restrictions.”

Patrick Grubb, Ashely Gillaspie, and baby Griffin sit together on a couch.
Patrick Grubb and Ashley Gillaspie both used Wells Fargo’s paid parental leave to learn the ins and outs of parenting and to bond with their son Griffin.

It’s been five years this month since Wells Fargo expanded its employee leave programs, extending to new parents up to 16 weeks of paid leave and allotting caregivers five days to provide essential support. From 2016 through 2020, 62,915 Wells Fargo employees — an average of nearly 14,000 per year — have taken a paid leave to focus on their families.

‘Wells Fargo takes care of you’

“A company that cares about its employees is one thing, but a company that cares about the employees’ families is quite another,” said Wells Fargo Benefits consultant Terri Morris. “It builds a lot of wonderful loyalty; our retention data show that employees returning from parental leave are staying with us.”

“A company that cares about its employees is one thing, but a company that cares about the employees’ families is quite another.” — Terri Morris, Wells Fargo Benefits consultant

Any eligible new parent may take parental leave by designating if they are in the role of primary or nonprimary caregiver of the child. Parental leave is available whether they’re the mother or father, birth parent, or adoptive parent. In fact, Gillaspie’s husband, Patrick Grubb, an executive office case specialist for Wells Fargo, received four weeks of nonprimary caregiver leave concurrent with his wife’s 16 weeks. (Note: As of 2021, both parents working at Wells Fargo can designate as primary caregiver and now take the full 16 weeks of leave.)

“Being able to have time for the three of us together as a new family was critical,” Gillaspie said. “We were able to focus on the baby and on our new life and routine instead of juggling our jobs and child care.”

Gillaspie advises other parents to “take advantage of the time to have with your little one. That’s why you work for a company like Wells Fargo. Our benefits are second to none, and our company is ahead of competitors when it comes to time away,” she said. “Wells Fargo takes care of you.”

An option for when you’re out of options during a hard time

Elizabeth was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. Her mother, Josie Kelly, a Wells Fargo financial consultant in Austin, Texas, was concerned not only about the appearance of Elizabeth’s smile, but also whether her child would be able to eat and speak properly.

Now five years old, Elizabeth has had two surgeries and is expected to have at least three more before adulthood. Knowing she can take critical caregiving leave to care for Elizabeth gives Kelly and her family peace of mind.

“When you feel like you’re out of options, this is another option to help you get through a hard time. It’s great having the few days you need to get you through a tough year,” Kelly said. “Being able to care for my daughter after her surgery meant the world to me and my family.”

Josie Kelly poses in a field with her family, including three children and a man.
When Elizabeth, front, was born with a cleft lip and palate, Josie Kelly used Wells Fargo’s critical caregiving leave to tend to her daughter.

Kelly, who’s been with Wells Fargo for more than 18 years, cites the company’s benefits as a key reason for staying. “That’s at the root of my loyal tenure with Wells: a great team to learn from and grow with — and great benefits for my family,” she said. “It’s always on my mind that I have support and flexibility and options. That’s not the case with other places.”

The past five years of supporting employees’ families with the expanded leave programs have been especially fulfilling for Morris.

“To construct and implement Wells Fargo’s paid leave programs was one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever done,” she said. “It was the cherry atop the parfait of my career.”