Wells Fargo conducted ‘mock interviews’ to pretend diversity efforts, employees claim

Wells Fargo sShe conducted external interviews with women and people of color to score Diversity Efforts in that Employment practices Although the positions were already offered to other candidates, several employees claimed.

The banking company has a long-standing, informal policy of employers interviewing “diverse” candidates, whom the company identifies as women or people of colour, for vacant positions. However, several employees said they were beginning to realize that candidates were often interviewed for positions that had already been offered to someone else.

“You feel so uncomfortable being on the other side of that table for an interview, knowing the candidate has zero chance of getting the job—zero,” said Joe Bruno, former CEO of Wells Fargo, Tell work News. “These are real humans on the other side of the table. They have families. I have a family. This is just a mistake.”

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Bruno said he brought his concerns to his superiors but was fired. Then, in August 2021, the 58-year-old CEO was fired, telling The The New York Times It was an act of retaliation for telling senior officials that “fake interviews” were “inappropriate, morally wrong, and morally wrong.”

The former CEO is one of seven current and former Wells Fargo employees who have said the company has asked them to interview diverse candidates for positions that have been filled. They told the outlet that five other employees were aware of the policy or helped put it into practice.

The employees said that rather than trying to increase diversity, the interviews seemed like a greater effort to record diversity efforts on paper, perhaps as a precaution in the case of an audit of Wells Fargo’s hiring practices.

Bank executives encouraged employees to follow hiring guidelines and said they did not condone the alleged behavior the employees described.

Wells Fargo told Washington Examiner in the current situation. “At the same time, we take the nature of the allegations in the story very seriously, and as a company, do not tolerate the type of alleged behavior. We will continue our internal review and if we find evidence of inappropriate behavior or deficiencies in our guidelines or implementation, we will take decisive action.”

Wells Fargo has previously faced allegations of employment discrimination, paying $7.8 million in back wages and interest to resolve employment discrimination charges. Payment was part of settlement with the Department of Labor to settle allegations that the company discriminated against 34,193 black applicants. The banking firm also faced a lawsuit in 2013 from black financial advisors who sued over racial discrimination, prompting the bank to pay out nearly $36 million and pledge “to take actions aimed at boosting jobs, profits, and advancing African-American financial advisors.” financial consultant. ”

before reaching settling in 2017, Wells Fargo executives have begun requiring employers to interview at least one woman or person of color for each vacancy, according to Burton. But she said the policy was never endorsed and only applied to some top positions, particularly those that paid more than $100,000.

However, Bruno said the mock interviews were for several types of jobs, including those below the minimum salary. Other bank leaders denied the allegations.


Of the 30,000 people hired by Wells Fargo in 2021, 81% were not white men, according to the outlet. It’s not clear how many of these employees earned salaries in excess of $100,000.


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