The CEO of Wells Fargo has apologized for an "insensitive" memo in which he said the bank wasn't meeting diversity goals because of a shortage of skilled Black workers. "The unfortunate reality is that there is a very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from with this specific experience as our industry does not have enough diversity in most senior roles," Charles Scharf said in the June memo, per Bloomberg. On Wednesday, he said it had been an "insensitive comment" reflecting his "own unconscious bias." "There are many talented diverse individuals working at Wells Fargo and throughout the financial services industry and I never meant to imply otherwise," Scharf said.
"Across the industry, we have not done enough to improve diversity, especially at senior leadership levels.” Scharf added, per Reuters. But "there is no question Wells Fargo has to make meaningful progress to increase diverse representation," said the CEO, who has pledged to double the number of Black leaders in five years and has urged managers to consider minority candidates for high-paying jobs and ensure that interview panels are also diverse. After reports on his June remarks this week, Scharf was criticized by Democratic lawmakers including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, reports CNN. "Perhaps it’s the CEO of Wells Fargo who lacks the talent to recruit Black workers," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. (Read more Wells Fargo stories.)