Wells Fargo has suspended a hiring policy that allegedly led to managers conducting interviews of non-white and female candidates for positions that were already filled, according to news reports.
Last month, The New York Times cited several current and former Wells Fargo employees who said the company had staff interview Black and female candidates for jobs in the wealth management unit that had already been decided on for others.
In 2020, Wells Fargo instituted its “diverse slate” policy requiring at least half of the candidates being interviewed for open positions with a salary of $100,000 or more to be “diverse,” according to the Times.
While Wells Fargo had some version of such a policy for years, the firm’s executives put it in writing in mid-2020 in bid to bolster diversity, the publication writes.
On Monday, Wells Fargo chief executive officer Charles Scharf told staff in a memo that the firm would pause the policy for several weeks to give executives time to analyze and amend it, according to the Times.
Scharf wrote that he believes the policy was working, pointing how 42% of the people hiredin 2021 for positions paying at least $100,000 were members of a racial or ethnic minority, a 5% bump from two years prior, the publication writes.
But Scharf also wrote that the temporary suspension would allow the to ensure that “hiring managers, senior leaders and recruiters fully understand how the guidelines should work,” according to the Times.
"Since The New York Times published a story last month about diverse job candidate slates at Wells Fargo, I've had the opportunity to hear from many of you," Scharf wrote in the memo, according to Reuters. "In these sessions, you've described in deeply personal terms the career obstacles you've faced because of who you are.”
In June 2020, the same year Wells Fargo instituted its diverse slate policy, Scharf told employees that the company needed to double the number of Black executives within five years, as reported.
In August the same year, Wells Fargo reached $7.8 million settlement with the Department of Labor over allegations that it had discriminated against tens of thousands of Black and female job applicants, as reported.
Last week, Wells Fargo released its report on diversity, saying that women made up 44.3% of its executives in December 2021, up from 41.7% in December 2020, while the percentage of Black executives grew 3.1%, to 8.9%, and that of Hispanic or Latino executive rose 0.8%, to 4.7%, as reported.
Meanwhile, 53% of the firm’s overall staff are women, and Black workers make up 13.2%, Hispanic or Latino employees account for 16.8% and Asian workers represent 10.8%.
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