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Don’t blame your lack of diversity on the pipeline. Blame your process

The CEO of Wells Fargo came under fire last month when, in acknowledging the bank had work to do on improving its diversity, it emerged that he earlier this year wrote  that “while it might sound like an excuse, the unfortunate reality is that there is a very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from.”

We would be lying if we said we hadn’t heard this from others C-Suite leaders, as many people are eager to blame their lack of diversity on the “pipeline problem.” While hiring managers at financial services firms may believe they are not seeing a proportionate amount of applications from people of color and other underrepresented groups coming through their applicant tracking systems—that’s not where the issue of diversity is born, but that’s certainly where it dies.

In an industry built on collegiate elitism, referrals, and family ties, it’s no surprise that Black, LatinX, and other people of color don’t see a path forward. If firms really want to move the needle on hiring more diversely, they must invest heavily in tactics to do so.

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