Black and brown executives have long faced systemic discrimination in the workplace. They are less likely to receive promotions and more likely to be overlooked for jobs than their non-minority colleagues of similar qualifications and experience levels. When they do receive opportunities to perform these roles, Black and brown executives are often grossly underpaid. A well-known 2009 study found that in the advertising industry specifically, racial discrimination against Black professionals was 38% worse than it was in the broader U.S. labor market. The situation stemming from Wells Fargo— where CEO Charles Scharf stated in an internal memo that “the unfortunate reality is that there is a very limited pool of black talent to recruit from”—is unfortunately, all too common.
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