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Thursday, Apr 22, 2021
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Goldman Sachs analysts say they work 95-hour weeks and endure 'inhumane' treatment

Goldman Sachs analysts say they work 95-hour weeks and endure 'inhumane' treatment

A workplace survey from a group of junior analysts at Goldman Sachs is about to make you feel a lot better about your job.

About a dozen first-year analysts say they are working more than 95 hours a week on average, sleeping just five hours a night and enduring workplace abuse. The majority of them say their mental health has deteriorated significantly since they started working at the investment bank.

"There was a point where I was not eating, showering or doing anything else other than working from morning until after midnight," one analyst says in the report.

The survey comes from a self-selected group of 13 first-year analysts who presented their findings to management in February, a spokesperson for the bank said. The survey results from the analysts began circulating on social media this week and were earlier reported by Bloomberg News.

The bank says it's listening to its employees' concerns and working on solutions.

"We recognize that our people are very busy, because business is strong and volumes are at historic levels," the bank said in a statement. "A year into Covid, people are understandably quite stretched, and that's why we are listening to their concerns and taking multiple steps to address them."

Few people entering the cutthroat world of Wall Street banking would expect a tidy nine-to-five. But the analysts in the survey are essentially pleading with their employer to cap their weekly work hours at 80.

"This is beyond the level of 'hard-working,'" one said. "This is inhumane."

One hundred percent of respondents said their hours had hurt their relationships with friends and family. About three-fourths of the analysts said they feel they've been a victim of workplace abuse and have either sought or considered seeking help for mental health issues.

"My body physically hurts all the time and mentally I'm in a really dark place," one analyst wrote in the survey.

Virtually all of the analysts said they felt pressure from "unrealistic deadlines" and have been shunned or ignored in meetings. Their report also offered solutions to management to help rectify the situation.

"In order to do our best work and deliver for the firm's clients we need to be rested and free from juggling an insurmountable amount of conflicting work stream," the group said.

Although Wall Street banks, and Goldman in particular, are known for sky-high salaries and even loftier bonuses, that's not always the case for first-year analysts — the bottom of the food chain in the financial world.

A spokesperson for Goldman declined to comment on compensation. A report by Business Insider last year estimated first-year investment bank analysts at Goldman and other top firms can expect a base salary of about $91,000.

The complaints in the survey are at odds with the more easygoing image Wall Street banks have sought to put forward in recent years. Faced with increased competition for talent from the jeans-and-hoodie crowd of Silicon Valley, big banks have loosened their formal suit-and-tie dress codes and expanded family leave policies.

Goldman has also sought to protect junior bankers' weekend with a "Saturday rule" that mandates analysts be out of the office from 9 pm Friday to 9 am Sunday, except in rare circumstances. (That rule, according to the analysts in the survey, isn't always respected.)

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