Wells fargo fake job interviews

Emily Flitter of The New York Times reported on Thursday that Wells Fargo employees conducted fictitious interviews with diverse job applicants in order to increase diversity statistics.

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Wells Fargo fake job interviews

Seven current and former employees, including one former executive, told The Times that they were instructed to conduct interviews with women and people of color for vacant positions.

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They stated that these efforts appeared to be a way to demonstrate diversity efforts without actually hiring diverse candidates.

The Times was informed by three current Wells Fargo employees that the sham interviews were conducted as recently as this year.

Joe Bruno, a former executive in Wells Fargo’s wealth-management division, told The Times that when he complained to his superiors about the “fake interviews,” which he described as “inappropriate, morally wrong, and ethically wrong,” his claims were rejected and he was ultimately fired. He claimed he was fired in retaliation for voicing his concerns, while Wells Fargo told The Times he was fired for retaliating against a coworker.

A spokesperson for Wells Fargo told Insider that the company investigated The Times’ claims and “could not confirm the claims as true.”

“At the same time, we take the nature of the allegations in the article seriously, and as a company we do not tolerate the alleged behavior,” the spokesperson said. “We will continue our internal investigation, and if we discover evidence of inappropriate behavior or deficiencies in our guidelines or their implementation, we will take swift action.”

In 2019, the bank’s new chief executive, Charlie Scharf, ushered in a significant shift in the institution’s leadership. Scharf is the bank’s third CEO since 2016, when a scandal erupted after it was revealed that the bank had opened millions of fraudulent accounts without customers’ knowledge.

Since then, Wells has been subjected to multibillion-dollar fines and has restructured its leadership, including a restructuring of its reporting structure in early 2020 and nearly 90 senior hires over the past three years.

However, this is not the first time the bank has been criticized for its treatment of people of color. In 2013, Wells faced a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination, which it eventually settled, and in August 2020, Wells agreed to pay approximately $8 million in back wages after the Department of Labor claimed the bank discriminated against Black job applicants.

Scharf wrote in a company-wide memo that while the bank would like to hire more people of color, “the unfortunate reality is that there is a very limited pool of Black talent from which to recruit.” Some employees were angered by his comments, which he repeated during a Zoom meeting with employees that summer, and Scharf issued an apology.

The bank later adopted a formal policy mandating the interview of a diverse pool of candidates for all positions paying over $100,000 annually.