Wells Fargo Bank CEO and President Charles “Charlie” Scharf made a controversial comment about workplace diversity. During a zoom conference with black Wells Fargo employees, Scharf explained why the company is having issues reaching “diversity goals.” Scharf said that there just isn’t a big enough qualified minority talent.
Here We Go Again
For a better context, the diversity issue at Wells Fargo is not referring to front-facing positions like tellers. This is about high-level positions at the company. Scharf also released a memo about the same issue of workplace diversity back in June. A quote from the memo reads as follows: “While it might sound like an excuse, the unfortunate reality is that there is a very limited pool of black talent to recruit from.”
Most of the black Wells Fargo employees who were on the zoom call with Charlie Scharf did not take offense to his comments. They report that the CEO did more listening than speaking and gave him credit for his honesty and transparency. But of course, there are people from the outside looking in and also insiders who do not buy what Charlie Scharf was selling.
Ken Bacon, a board member of several large corporations, says that there is plenty of black talent out there and a company’s inability to find said talent completely lies on their own shoulders. Several hit pieces on Scharf in relation to the “controversial” comments have already made their way to the internet. A novel idea would be to understand if there is an issue with black (and Hispanic) employment at high levels for another reason aside from “systemic racism.”
The reasoning behind a lack of black unemployment at high-level positions is enough content for another article altogether. Maybe even a book. But on a basic level, there is a thing called preparation. From a very young age, the gap in preparation between whites and Asians and blacks and Hispanics is large. Asians spend around 10 hours a week doing homework on average compared to maybe an hour for the average black household.
Diversity initiatives also exist in college. So if a black or Hispanic person achieves the goal of landing an Ivy League education and they wind up graduating, they think they are now just as qualified as their white and Asian classmates. But the reality is that they may not be. In some cases, if not for the diversity initiative, then a black or hispanic student would not have gone to that high-level school. And that reality sets in when they attempt to climb the corporate ladder and they do not perform as well as their white and Asian classmates.
Liberal extremists of all colors who exist in the corporate world may fire up their LinkedIn accounts to flame Charlie Scharf, but should they? Or should they take a moment to think critically about the words that Scharf said? More of the latter is the proper thing to do in order to foster an inquisitive, solution-based environment rather than an outright inquisition.
Exclusive: Wells Fargo CEO ruffles feathers with comments about diverse talent
Wells Fargo CEO ruffles feathers with comments about diverse talent
Dear Wells Fargo: Your Lack Of Diversity Is Not Because Of Pipeline Issues
Wells Fargo CEO apologizes for saying he can’t find talented Black people to work for him – CNN
Average hours spent on homework per week and percentage of 9th- through 12th-grade students who did homework outside of school and whose parents checked that homework was done, by frequency of doing homework and race/ethnicity: 2007
Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Minorities – Indicator 19. After-School Time Use
The Neglected College Race Gap: Racial Disparities Among College Completers – Center for American Progress
More African-American Babies are Aborted Than Born Alive in New York City | LifeNews.com
1 In 3 Black Males Will Go To Prison In Their Lifetime, Report Warns | HuffPost