Like others, I’ve taken my swipes at Goldman Sachs. (Blog 8/30/13) But after reading Anne Vandermey’s article, “Yes, Goldman Sachs Really is a Great Place to Work,” I came away less sure of my opinion. (Fortune, Feb.3, 14 pgs 97-104). As The author remarks, not only are the company’s bonuses generous but so is the food in the lunchroom. The spa services are an added luxury and if needed, counseling is provided. No wonder the business is able to cream off the best and brightest graduates throughout the country. (Ibid pg. 100) Competition for jobs at Goldman Sachs is fierce. “Less than 3% of 97,6000 applicants for analyst and associate roles won a seat at the firm last year, making it twice as hard to get into as Harvard.” (Ibid, pg. 9)
Of course, the same positives found at Goldman Sachs can be found at other companies which is why it is 47th out of 100 among top ranked employers. But where Goldman shines is in its policies designed to advance women’s careers. It offers a paid four-month maternity leave for both biological and adoptive mothers, and at its headquarters in New Jersey, it provides an infant transitions program — 40 days of free onsite child care. In addition, Goldman has initiated a “Returnship” program designed to allow young mothers or fathers a “voluntary career break” of two years or more. (Ibid pg. 102) And, while the company favors type A personalities, it discourages working on Saturdays — a policy meant to take pressure off families.
If Goldman Sachs can show it’s feminine side yet remain a successful and envied company, there’s hope other employers might initiate similar policies so that women, in particular, don’t have to choose between work and family.
Vandermey’s article has altered my opinion of Goldman Sachs. As Shakespeare wrote: “… nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” (Hamlet, II, ii)
(Courtesy of www.theasec.org)