Thursday 18 March 2021 6:57 pm

Goldman Sachs junior staff slam bank's 'inhumane' 100-hour working weeks

Junior bankers at Goldman Sachs claimed they have suffered ‘inhumane’ treatment and workplace abuse, leading to a deterioration in mental health while employed by the US investment bank.

A survey circulated on Twitter today that was presented to the bank last month, showed that all of the 13 respondents felt their working hours had negatively impacted their relationships with friends and family. 

The majority of the first-year analysts in the investment banking division that were surveyed said they have been the victim of abuse in the workplace and have, or considered, seeking help due to deteriorating mental health.

The internal research highlighted that the employees had worked 98 hours per week on average since January, with one week in February clocking an average of 105 working hours, and got just five hours sleep per night.

A junior analyst that took part in the survey group – which was self-selected and represented views from one area of the investment banking division – said the working hours were “inhumane” or “abuse”.

It showed that the junior staff members, working in the US, felt both their mental and physical health had declined significantly since starting the job, in a revelation that could raise questions over what Goldman Sachs is doing to improve workplace culture.

One analyst said they were unable to sleep because “my anxiety levels are through the roof”.

Another said the workplace culture was “arguably worse” than their experience of foster care, due to “sleep deprivation, the treatment by senior bankers, the mental and physical stress”. 

“My body physically hurts all the time and mentally I’m in a really dark place,” one junior analyst said.

“I didn’t come into this job expecting a 9am-5pms, but I also didn’t expect consistent 9am-5ams either,” another employee said. 

“There was a point where I was not eating, showering or doing anything else other than working from morning until after midnight.”

In response to the findings of the survey a Goldman Sachs spokesperson said: ““We recognize that our people are very busy, because business is strong and volumes are at historic levels.  

“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.”

The bank has accelerated its hiring process for new junior bankers in the division, transferred employees to the busiest business lines and has been selective with new business opportunities to match workloads with resources.

It has also begun to invest in digital platforms and operational enhancements to automate certain tasks for junior workers.