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June/July 2003
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Diversity in action

Goldman Sachs is seeking diversity
The prime hiring focus is on the entry level, but associations with SWE, NSBE and SHPE keep recruiters in touch with experienced professionals as well
Gail Fierstein: “This is about how to recruit and keep the best people.”

Goldman Sachs, founded in 1869, is a leader in global investment banking, securities and investment management. Its client base includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals with a good deal of money to manage.

Although the economic downturn has taken its toll, Goldman Sachs continues to offer internships and hire new graduates. “We’re continuing with hiring at the entry level because we need to bring in young talent regardless of the market environment,” says Gail Fierstein, global managing director for human capital management for Goldman Sachs Technology, the firm’s IT organization.

The firm hopes to keep connections open to experienced professionals by leveraging contacts with minority- and woman-serving organizations like SWE, NSBE and SHPE. “SWE is totally run by women. That impresses us on many levels; for example, how they look at the organization from a strategic perspective,” Fierstein says.

For its new-grad hires in technology, the firm is looking for CS majors with Java, C++ and business-driven Web skills for Technology centers in New York, London and Tokyo.

“We need candidates with raw tech skills,” Fierstein says. “We can teach the business skills as they go along.”

Positions need to be filled in business applications and infrastructure. The firm’s systems are built on a broad range of technical platforms like UDB, Sybase, Unix and Linux.


Goldman Sachs logo
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc
www.gs.com

Headquarters: New York, NY
Employees: 19,000 worldwide, 4,000 in Technology division
Revenues: $13.99 billion
Business: Investment banking, securities and investment management

Goldman Sachs Technology has five affinity networks for women, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and gays and lesbians. Each network is sponsored by a managing director and has regular meetings. Once a quarter all network heads across the firm come together for training.

The networks play an important role in integrating interns into the company and supporting their development. And they work with Fierstein’s human capital management group to build relationships with professional organizations.

The affinity networks get involved in recruitment, too. And when the interns come in, the networks provide buddies to help them succeed – a friendly sort of mentoring that will likely be extended to new associates as well.

The networks are also involved in Community Teamworks, the firm’s community assistance program. The women’s network, for example, is involved with Brown University’s Artemis Project, a high school outreach program designed to interest girls in technology careers. “It’s very successful,” says Fierstein.

The Goldman Sachs summer internship program has become a hiring pipeline. College students are typically offered internships with the potential for future full-time employment. Undergrads are encouraged to continue a relationship with the firm during the school year.

HBCUs are a strong focus of Goldman Sachs Technology’s recruiting strategy. Technology employees team with senior recruiters and managers to bolster the effort.

The intern program brings each recruit together with a number of managers. If one manager doesn’t have the budget to hire a good former intern, another one may. “We’re trying to do the fine tuning and scale it up,” Fierstein says.

The affinity networks at Goldman Sachs continue to provide support for employees throughout their careers. Technology’s European and U.S. women’s networks presented panel discussions on work-life balance last year, aimed at men as well as women. “We understand that these issues affect men and women alike,” Fierstein says with a smile.

One thing is clear: diversity remains a priority at Goldman Sachs. “This is not about the numbers,” Fierstein states. “This is about how to recruit and keep the best people.”

D/C