From Berkshire Hathaway to Silicon Valley, little to show for diversity pledges, critics say
"As bank workers and Wells Fargo shareholders, we don't want empty promises," Ted Laurel, an account resolution specialist in San Antonio, Texas, who is Mexican-American, said in a news conference last week organized by the Committee for Better Banks (CBB), a coalition of bank workers, consumer and labor groups.
In the same position for eight years, the 38-year-old Army Reserves veteran and father of eight recounted applying for 15 promotions without success. Laurel said in the media briefing that other people of color in his department faced similar obstacles to moving up at Wells.
"My heart was broken," Laurel said of learning that CEO Charles Scharf had blamed the company's dearth of Black executives on the banking giant having a "very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from" in a memo last summer. While Scharf apologized for his words and held a conference call with employees in December to address their concerns, no concrete changes have ensued, Laurel said.