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Article

20 May 2022

Author:
Emily Flitter, The New York Times

USA: Wells Fargo allegedly conducted fake job interviews to boost appearance of diversity efforts; incl. co. comment

"At Wells Fargo, a Quest to Increase Diversity Leads to Fake Job Interviews," 19 May 2022

... For many open positions [at Wells Fargo], employees would interview a “diverse” candidate — the bank’s term for a woman or person of color — in keeping with the bank’s yearslong informal policy. But [former employee] Mr. Bruno noticed that often, the so-called diverse candidate would be interviewed for a job that had already been promised to someone else.

... Mr. Bruno is one of seven current and former Wells Fargo employees who said that they were instructed by their direct bosses or human resources managers in the bank’s wealth management unit to interview “diverse” candidates — even though the decision had already been made to give the job to another candidate. Five others said they were aware of the practice, or helped to arrange it.

... Raschelle Burton, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman, said the bank expected all employees to follow its hiring policies and guidelines, which are communicated across the firm. “To the extent that individual employees are engaging in the behavior as described by The New York Times, we do not tolerate it,” Ms. Burton said.

Ms. Burton said she was aware that informal directives about hiring diverse candidates had long circulated inside the bank. But those rules were from an earlier era that the bank’s current leaders had nothing to do with, she added.

... [In August 2020], Wells Fargo paid nearly $8 million to settle a claim by the Department of Labor that it had discriminated against more than 30,000 Black job applicants for positions in banking, sales and support roles. Wells Fargo had already been trying to increase diversity. In 2013, a group of Black financial advisers at Wells Fargo sued the bank for racial discrimination, saying they were corralled into poor neighborhoods and kept away from opportunities to win new clients and partner with white financial advisers. The bank settled the case in 2017.