When You Say There’s a Limited Pool of Black Talent, Here’s What You’re Revealing About Yourself


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A few weeks ago, Charlie Scharf joined a list of executives who have revealed made it clear to their companies — and the public — that they have more work to do on their diversity and inclusion journey. The Wells Fargo CEO shared his views on the lack of representation at the bank, citing that there was “a very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from.” Scharf later issued an apology after swift media backlash, stating that it was “an insensitive comment reflecting my own unconscious bias.”  

Scharf is not the only executive to believe this to be true. “There just aren’t enough Black candidates.” “It’s not our organization’s issue, it’s clearly a pipeline issue.” “Look, I’m all for diverse talent, as long as they are good.” The underlying assumption being that we lower the bar for diverse talent, because they aren’t enough talented Black and Brown people in the marketplace.

When you say there’s a limited pool of Black talent, here’s what you are revealing about yourself as a leader: You don’t really know many Black leaders. In fact, maybe you don’t know any Black leaders at all.

How do you show leaders and organizations that Black and Brown talent is everywhere? Start with making these three key strategic investments:

Invest in key partnerships

The pipeline of Black and Brown talent exists. Start investing in key partnerships. Here’s a brief list to get you started. There are too many fantastic partnerships available in the marketplace to capture them all here:

The Executive Leadership Councils primary focus is to nurture and amplify Black excellence and leadership in business. ELC opens channels of opportunity for Black executives to continue to make impact