- Goldman Sachs is allowing its computer engineers to dress casually, an unusual move for a Wall Street financial firm, reports Reuters.
- The Wall Street bank relaxed its dress code to attract and retain top IT talent. Goldman and other financial institutions have been competing for IT professionals with Silicon Valley and hedge funds, which offer software engineers and developers high-level perks and better working hours, says Reuters.
- IT engineers make up about 25% of Goldman's 33,000 employees and are credited with transforming the firm in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, making the firm more efficient and creating new businesses such as Marcus, Goldman's consumer lending platform.
Old habits die hard, and it's never easy for legacy firms to decide whether to relax certain cultural traditions. Goldman isn't the first institution to choose between shorts and the old-fashioned, buttoned-down look in a bid to enhance its marketability to younger workers.
The latter dress code is commonly associated with the financial industry, though, and Reuters points out that most Goldman employees continue to keep things formal. The growth of the remote workforce in recent years has led some organizations to worry less about conventions like company dress codes, on the other hand.
This time of year, many employers with casual dress codes remind workers about wearing unacceptable summer attire in the office, including halter tops, shorts, flip flops, sun dresses and work-out clothes. There are also compliance concerns involved in ensuring certain regulations don't infringe upon religious conventions.
Dress code reminders are sometimes criticized for assuming employees will dress inappropriately before they actually do, creating a work environment of mistrust. But that could be said of any workplace policy. Employers have the right to set any policy they choose within the law and that doesn't violate workers' rights.