Global Head of Human Capital Management, Goldman Sachs

For decades, Goldman Sachs has been a prestigious recruiter of financial talent. It annually dispatches hiring teams to more than 400 schools worldwide, with its feeder network including the Ivy League along with elite U.K. universities such as Cambridge and Oxford.

But even with more than 250,000 applicants for its summer program and analyst classes each year, Goldman questioned whether it was doing enough to foster diversity in the pool of hopefuls. That's why Edith Cooper, its global head of human capital management, is leading an effort to refine the way it finds talent.

This year Cooper and her team scrapped first-round, on-campus interviews with undergraduates to instead initially vet them with remote, off-site interviews using a new video conferencing technology platform. The idea is not to expedite the interview process, but to expand the search for candidates who might not be discovered on those campus trips. "We want to hire not just the economics or business undergraduate," Cooper said in a June briefing with reporters, "but there is that pure liberal arts or history major that could be the next Lloyd Blankfein."

The evolution in recruiting is just one of several foundational changes to hiring and promotions that Goldman undertook in the last two years. In May, Cooper told the Wall Street Journal that Goldman dropped the long-standing numerical ratings in performance reviews in favor of more regular employee-manager interactions. The investment bank also was the first on Wall Street to mandate protected weekend days for junior bankers and to ban interns from working past midnight. In recognition of these efforts, Vault recently named Goldman the best banking firm to work for in 2017.

Cooper, who joined Goldman 20 years ago, is a management committee member and vice chair of the partnership committee, which is tasked each year with choosing new partners from among those who are managing directors.

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