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2017-09-06 — americanbanker.com

African-American financial advisers at Wells Fargo said they were underrepresented among the bank's 15,000 registered brokers and systematically excluded from lucrative teams. The firm's discriminatory policies and practices for client account distribution and assignments led to lower pay, the complaint said. Wells Fargo disagreed with the claims.

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"In general, the settlements don't lead to changes in the composition of the workforce," Dobbin, who's now advising Wells Fargo, said. "That's why both sides were kind of interested in implementing the things that we have shown to be effective in other firms: targeted recruitment and mentoring."

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Dobbin said managers see mandatory diversity training, whether required by a court or by corporate headquarters, as a control tactic. Workshops, job tests and grievance systems can also draw resistance because managers see them as an affront to their judgment. It's more effective, the professor said, to enlist managers in coming up with a plan to prevent bias from creeping into the business structure.

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The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in March slashed a rating of how the bank serves communities, citing enforcement cases that faulted the company's treatment of minority neighborhoods, military personnel and women who had recently given birth. The company said it was committed to addressing the regulator's concerns.

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