- Goldman Sachs is increasing its parental leave to 20 weeks paid time off for all new parents through birth, surrogacy or adoption – regardless of caregiver status – according to a company memo issued Monday.
- Several of the bank's Wall Street peers — JPMorgan, Citi, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley — offer 16 weeks to the primary caregiver but less to the secondary caregiver, Bloomberg reported. Bank of America offers 16 weeks to both.
- The change, which took effect Friday, comes in response to a recent employee survey, according to eFinancialCareers. The bank is also doubling, to $20,000, the stipend it pays for employees' egg retrieval and donation; boosting its adoption and surrogacy stipends; and offering four weeks of paid family leave for employees to care for ill family members.
New-parent employees have accused Wall Street banks of gender bias in policies that distinguish between primary and secondary caregivers. JPMorgan Chase paid $5 million in May to settle a discrimination claim alleging men were discouraged from taking "primary caregiver" status.
Goldman's move may help combat the perception that taking long paternity leave is detrimental to banking careers. "It's the kiss of death," Roy Cohen, author of "The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide," told eFinancialCareers last year. "You won't be perceived as disloyal, but others may begin to question your commitment."
Khe Hy, who left his job as a managing director at BlackRock in 2015, told Bloomberg his co-workers discouraged him when he took 10 days of paternity leave. "One was, 'We'll be able to reach you if we need to,' and the second one was, 'We can still include you in all conference calls, right?'" Hy said. "It's like: 'Come on, what could you possibly be doing in the first 10 days of your kid's life? You're not the mom.'"
The policy change continues a sharp turnaround even within Goldman over the past four years. The bank's parenting leave for non-primary caregivers doubled from two weeks to four in June 2015, according to Business Insider.
"The world is a very competitive place, and if you want great people in your organization, you have to take care of them, you have to have a culture that is open, and inclusive, and inviting and supportive," Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon told Yahoo Finance on Monday. "I'm encouraging this because having employees who feel taken care of benefits Goldman Sachs and its stakeholders."