Being a technologist in an investment bank can be exhausting. – While you won’t work as hard as people in the investment banking division, you’ll generally work with a geographically dispersed team in different time zones with whom you’ll converse early in the morning and late at night.
For this reason, one technologist working for Goldman Sachs in London, said working from home (WFH) has been a godsend. “I really like working remotely and the flexibility that COVID brought,” said Irina, a technologist on Goldman’s London infrastructure team, talking at yesterday’s Code Fest conference run by Code First Girls.
Working from home means geographically dispersed teams interact a lot more frequently, said Irina. It also brings better work-life balance and improved mental health. “I felt more comfortable taking a break in the middle of the day and maybe a nap if I was really tired,” she added. “In the mornings I meet with the Asia team and sometimes there’s a big gap before the U.S. comes online.” This was suddenly available for a snooze.
The women stressed that coding roles are Goldman Sachs are very flexible. Goldman said yesterday that it expects its London building to return to “full occupancy” on September 13th. However, the firm isn’t saying that people need to be in the office five days a week, and is giving managers the option to discuss individual employees’ requirements.
“There’s a lot more acceptance of flexibility in engineering after COVID,” said Namita Sahay, an executive director in Goldman’s engineering division who manages the EMEA payments team. “Working virtually, working from home all of these are acceptable,’ Sahay added. “- I know people who work remotely 100% of the time. That’s definitely possible,” she added.
Sahay said, too, that coding is a perfect career for women: “You can do it from anywhere in the world. You just need your computer, your brain, and the internet.”
Sahay has worked for Goldman for 14 years and has a family and dog. “I can honestly tell you that you can manage a family and a job at Goldman Sachs,” she said, before detailing how she spent three days a week in the office and then three days at home even before the pandemic. When she was in the office, her daughter would go to the “amazing” Goldman children’s centre. If she couldn’t collect her daughter before the centre closed at 6pm, Sahay said she’d go along to staff meetings. During the most recent school holidays, Sahay said she bought her now seven year-old daughter into the office and took her to the firm’s children’s centre before reconvening in the GS canteen at lunch and later taking her upstairs to spin on the revolving chair.
Goldman’s tech women also said the firm is now super-relaxed about the dress code. “My coworker wears fluffy unicorn slippers in office,” said Cara, a London technology apprentice, who noted that eight out of 12 of Goldman’s current apprentice class are female.
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