Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives are the vibe for most companies to create more equitable and just spaces, but if it’s rooted in dishonesty – wasn’t it counterproductive?

The supposed dishonesty has people looking for answers. An ex-Wells Fargo executive alleges that the banking institution held “fake interviews” with women and people of color for jobs already filled to inflate its diversity efforts.

Was It All A Set-Up?

According to a New York Times report, Wells Fargo hiring staff allegedly held fake interviews with diverse applicants to boost their diversity numbers.

Eight employees affiliated with Wells Fargo spoke with The New York Times and said they had instructions to interview people of color and women for roles in the company that was already filled. The employees claim the effort was never to consider any of the aspiring employees for even future positions. It was simply a tactic to create false data around DEI strategies.

Retaliation And Investigations

Wells Fargo Executive, Joe Bruno, told The New York Times that he complained to management about the staged interviews and deemed them inappropriate. He alleges that his claims about the interviews being morally and ethically wrong were dismissed. As a further consequence, Bruno believes he was terminated due to speaking out against the practice.

According to The New York Times, “he said Wells Fargo retaliated against him for telling his superiors that the ‘fake interviews’ were ‘inappropriate, morally wrong, ethically wrong.'”

However, Wells Fargo reportedly gave an alternative explanation stating his termination resulted from his retaliation against a colleague.

In a conversation with Insider, a Wells Fargo spokesperson stated that the company investigated The New York Times’ claims and “could not corroborate the claims as factual.”

The current claims against Wells Fargo are the latest in discriminatory and alleged unethical prejudice practices.

As previously reported by AfroTech, Wells Fargo allegedly rejected lower interest rates through refinancing for Black homeowners and forced them to funnel more dollars toward loans.