Why Wall Street Loves Military Veterans

by Derek Loosvelt | August 28, 2014

Although work-life balance is getting better on Wall Street, entry-level investment banking positions are still incredibly grueling. Working 100 hours a week for several weeks in a row is not uncommon. Nor is feeling immense pressure to turn something around in a matter of hours that could cost your firm millions of dollars. And many senior bankers think nothing of screaming until their faces nearly fall off to get their points across. Indeed, working on Wall Street isn’t for sissies. And this is why Wall Street has so much love for this minority group: military veterans. 

Consider that, in Vault’s latest Banking Survey, administered to approximately 3,600 banking professionals, those that identified themselves as former members of the armed forces rated their firms significantly higher in the areas of hours and work/life balance. In fact, military veterans rated their firms nearly 3% higher in the area of satisfaction with the number of hours they work (7.14 vs. the overall average of 6.94), and 1.3% higher in the area of work-life balance (7.18 vs. 7.09). 

And the qualitative data we received underlined the quantitative data. Consider these five quotes, concerning quality of life, from military veterans who took our survey: 

1. “Working a great deal is part of our job. No one likes it, but we all understand what we’re getting into when we make this a career choice.” 

2. “This is a tough job. I don’t have an issue with that. It’s the reality of the business. People have to adapt.” 

3. “We definitely don't pull stereotypical [investment banking] hours, and our senior bankers support us having a life outside of the office. But there are definitely groups where the bankers put in a lot more hours. Thinking again, half glass full, those bankers definitely get more experience, so it just depends what you want.” 

4. “Even when I work long hours, the other people I work with are great. Which makes it much more pleasant than it should be!” 

5. “We’re a client service business. Work-life balance and client service go hand in hand. If people don't like the hours, they should find another job. To give the best client advice and experience, you need to be available at any time.” 

In any case, check back this coming Wednesday, September 3rd, when we’ll be releasing our latest Banking Rankings, which include rankings in numerous categories, including diversity with respect to miltary veterans.

Follow me @VaultFinance.

Read More:
Have Wall Street’s Gay and Female Diversity Policies Gone Too Far or Not Far Enough?
Goldman Sachs’ ‘Protected Saturday’ Policy Might Be Working After All
An Open Letter to Wall Street Recruiters: What Junior Bankers Really Want

Filed Under: Finance | Workplace Issues

Tags: armed forces | military veteran diversity | wall street | wall street hours | work-life balance


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