Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf addresses recent U.S. events in a companywide message.
Editor’s Note: CEO Charlie Scharf emailed the following message to all Wells Fargo employees on May 29, 2020.
Across the U.S. in recent weeks, there have been a number of deeply disturbing events that have shaken us. Videos of unspeakable behavior have brought home in shocking fashion the inequality and fear some in our communities deal with on a daily basis. In Minneapolis, the tragic death of George Floyd and the subsequent protest activity reflect the anger, anxiety, and grief the community and our nation feels. In Georgia, we saw the senseless killing of Ahmaud Arbery as he was out for a jog. In addition, the pandemic has brought a wave of bias against many in the Asian American community, and we know that communities of color are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
This is a painful time for our nation. As a white man, as much as I can try to understand what others are feeling, I know that I cannot really appreciate and understand what people of color experience and the impacts of discriminatory behavior others must live with.
But, as the CEO of Wells Fargo, I can commit that our company will do all we can to support our diverse communities and foster a company culture that deeply values and respects diversity and inclusion.
My thoughts are with our employees in Minneapolis and across the nation as they mourn and deal with the anger and anxiety they are feeling. Laurie Nordquist, Upper Midwest lead region president, has joined with leaders from other Minneapolis companies in making a joint statement to express their outrage about Mr. Floyd’s death and their commitment to investing in substantive change to address racial inequities and social justice. I wholeheartedly support Laurie and the sentiments expressed in that statement.
When I joined Wells Fargo, I signed Business Roundtable’s Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation (PDF). Many of the tenets of that document reflect the inclusive environment we continue to create at Wells Fargo. In particular, the statement calls for an economy that allows each person to succeed through hard work and creativity and to lead a life of meaning and dignity. It stresses the importance of fostering diversity and inclusion, dignity, and respect among our employees and supporting and respecting the communities in which we work. I firmly believe a diversity of insights and perspectives will drive Wells Fargo to the best ideas and outcomes possible.
Part of our journey is about being able to listen to the experiences of others and having honest, open dialogue across differences. I plan to do so as part of my diversity work, and I hope you do so as well.
I encourage you all to visit our Enterprise Diversity & Inclusion homepage on Teamworks for tools and resources on how you can have these conversations and help create a more inclusive Wells Fargo.
Thank you for all you are doing to support our customers, our communities, and each other.