Dow Chemical

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Dow Chemical Reviews

Updated November 9, 2014
Updated November 9, 2014
536 Reviews
3.6
536 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Dow Chemical Chairman, President, and CEO Andrew N. Liveris
Andrew N. Liveris
340 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance exists with your choice of a 4 10 or 9 80 work schedule (in 57 reviews)

  • work environment, plenty of back ups since everyone knows each others job, good vacation time provided (in 24 reviews)


Cons
  • The trade off of having a great work life balance is that promotions come at a slower pace (in 13 reviews)

  • Lots of time and money spent on developing work processes that people don't follow (in 14 reviews)

More Highlights

58 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Promises, promises ... yawn.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Supply Chain Planner in Midland, MI
    Current Employee - Supply Chain Planner in Midland, MI

    I have been working at Dow Chemical full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The engineers I interact with on a daily basis are extraordinary people. The are tops in US for chemical production, and #2 in the world. One of the companies that still have a pension (after 3yrs vested). Great advanced materials R&D units. If you play the games -- you'll go far.

    Cons

    BPSC was a terrible place to work, but I got "out". Low salary compared to industry standard. Too bureaucratic. Too cumbersome. Too many politics. Too many union doofusses at the plant. Nothing exciting about living in Midland, MI ... snotty town with nothing special except the pius populace. HR at Dow has effectively taken the human out of Human Resources ... they run the company, not the managers or directors. Your career is limited by your manager and your job classification (Admin, Tech/Tech, FS/FL). If you're Admin ... good luck getting promoted and even if you're over qualified.

    Time to move on for me ... resigning at most ample opportunity. I've worked in chemical industry for over 20yrs and this is the worst one I've had the misfortune to work for ... I regret taking the job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing ... it wouldn't matter -- they're tone deaf.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Great for most salaried employees, maybe not the best for hourly employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Process Operator
    Current Employee - Process Operator

    I have been working at Dow Chemical full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Pay is pretty good for operators, although still not keeping up with inflation.

    Most leaders take safety quite seriously. While this creates an environment where you can be fired far more easily, it does generally allow plants to spend the money needed to ensure safety concerns are handled, although not always. It also contributes to more bureaucracy and paperwork than ever before.

    Vacation is better than many other companies, even for new employees. Do not be surprised if vacation hours become depleted as you are working there. Employees who have been with the company for a long time have had their had vacation eliminated for "consistency", so it would be easy for Dow to say they need to eliminate hours based on "competitiveness" in the future.

    Cons

    Benefits have been on the decline, still decent, but incumbent operators will not enjoy the benefits of their more experienced coworkers (though benefits are still being depleted for them as well).

    Depending on your location, having union representation does not mean what it once does. Most unions now seem to be just happy to even be allowed to exist, let alone try to do what they traditionally did: bargain for better benefits, wages and work environment. Be the best worker you can, and avoid politics in the workplace; the union can only do so much for you.

    Work environment has been "us vs. them" for as far back as people remember. Dow has never really addressed it, nor tried to fix it. Instead of trying to foster equality (or true camaraderie), most leaders and salaried co-workers will still treat you as "bargained-for", little better than a contractor, which may be how higher Dow leadership wants it. Unfortunately, leaders prosper in environments where their workers are constantly fighting each other, as they are promoted within a few years, and can leave the plant in turmoil with no effect on them.

    If you do not pass your training (in some locations, known as OEM), your position and ability to retrieve it are forfeit. Dow treats anyone who does not pass their OEM as irredeemable, blacklisted, and always on the end of the list in interviews. Once someone is in that position, even an inexperienced new employee will be considered before them, despite their years as a chemical operator in the company prior to OEM.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please read the above comments, and realize this is not complaints from a bitter employee. This is an employee who has seen changes with a company after two decades, and few for the better. Take these comments as constructive criticism and try to work with them as best you can. No one expects miracles, but employees appreciate genuine attempts to improve things.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    There is not any work life balance. There's also a lot of finger pointing when things go wrong

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Reliability and Maintenance Engineer in Freeport, TX
    Current Employee - Reliability and Maintenance Engineer in Freeport, TX

    I have been working at Dow Chemical full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Dow does provide excellent training

    Cons

    Layoffs are now normal. There is not much job security

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop laying off so many workers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    CBRE is not the answer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Freeport, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Freeport, TX

    I worked at Dow Chemical full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Dow has good retirement benefits, vacation, holidays, 401K

    Cons

    The company should not transfer its positions to contractors such as CBRE. CBRE works their people very hard and pays them very little. They will have 1 person do the work of 3 people. CBRE is equivalent to a glorified janitorial service.

    Also, the CBRE management is disorganized and they abuse their people, which in turn gives the customer (Dow) a bad name (as Dow has allowed contractors like CBRE to come in). Many people are wondering why Dow has allowed this to happen.

    In addition, Dow upper management should replace some of the Dow management that are not keeping a better eye on CBRE and what is really going on in Freeport and at the Houston Dow Center.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of contractor groups such as CBRE. They are giving Dow a bad name.
    This type of company comes in and absorbs Dow Employees and then treats them horribly as I witnessed the testimony of many of these individuals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good opportunities for younger people, management is weak.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Dow Chemical full-time

    Pros

    Good opportunities to take on bigger roles, good job security. Nice people, most of which are hard workers.

    Cons

    With the bigger roles, they don't pay according to market. Some people are totally clueless on their jobs, but most are good. Given good job security, sometimes retain less effective people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Update HR policy on compensation, compare with actual competitor companies. Be realistic and honest with employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Frustrating

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Leader in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Research Leader in Houston, TX

    I worked at Dow Chemical full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good salary and benefits, excellent facilities, great scientists. It has been at times a really enjoyable place work. There have been some absolutely fantastic chemistry projects to work on.

    Cons

    Very much a risk averse research environment which stifles creativity. So process orientated that it also limits productivity and can be exceedingly complicated to get stuff done.

    Because of the departmental/business organization is the way it is it can make people very "siloed" and adversarial...... I don't think the problems are what the company wants , but it is a situation that senior leadership has unfortunately created!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your good people more.... move the non-contributors on more quickly

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Dow Chemical- A great place to go if you don't want to have any impact and not feel empowered but want a job that pays.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer in Freeport, TX
    Former Employee - Engineer in Freeport, TX

    I worked at Dow Chemical full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Money-The money was good and very competitive
    Flex Scheduling-9/80's and 4/10's
    Work Life Balance is ok
    Genuine about safety
    Can move around and do different things-but mostly lateral moves
    Good hourly workers-many of the older Dow workers are great, and are the real backbone of Texas Operations

    Cons

    Health insurance is not as good as competitors or other nearby industries
    Not innovative at all-Unwilling to try new things or technologies
    Consensus style management-no one has the stomach to make a decision
    Peter Principle alive and well at the Freeport Site
    Doesn't know what it wants to do when it grows up-consantly changing focus, selling assets, focusing on short term goals.
    Too much shareholder focus-employees are second
    Too many work processes
    Too many chiefs and not enough people who actually accomplish work.
    Cost savings mode all the time-codeword cheap on fixing stuff or maintaining assets
    Not much promotion potential-must ride the coat tails of a manager to move up-i.e. be a minority, female, or brown noser to really move up. Hard work and competence has nothing to do with it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make a plan stick with it-Decide what kind of chemical company do you want to be
    Reduce your overhead by simplifying work processes and get rid of useless middle management
    Make managers be competent technically and be good people managers
    Develop a culture of innovation at a department level-It is frustrating for experienced hires to bring cost saving and time savings innovations just to be shot down

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Stressful

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Dow Chemical (more than an year)

    Pros

    They provide you with great benefits.

    Cons

    They don't provide enough training.

    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not a great experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Office Professional in Hahnville, LA
    Former Employee - Office Professional in Hahnville, LA

    I worked at Dow Chemical full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The pay is a little better than some companies. There are some honest managers that will help you through your adventure. A great place to learn the downfalls of diversity. This company will teach you about the so call values of the south. This location is the only location does not reflect Dow Chemical as a whole. I think Dow Company has work hard to gain the respect that the company has work hard for.

    Cons

    This company does not represent Dow Chemical company outlook. This is still the old Union Carbide company. They will layoff an experienced worker to keep family friends and for favors. This company is not very diverse. They must have bad management, because they always cutting due to budget. I will say others never experience this type of activities at a real Dow company. This location will never change. Dow Chemical needs to re-organize this site.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There need to be a investigation into this company location. I am almost positive the findings will be shocking. Their hiring practice and layoff values are damaging to the company brand. I have witness an employee being laid off to make room for someone's relative that was not even qualified for the job. This was very disturbing to me. When I was laid off it was a fair layoff. However I have seen so much unjust that I was kind of glad to leave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    a company in decline, rotting from the inside

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Chemist in Midland, MI
    Current Employee - Lead Chemist in Midland, MI

    I have been working at Dow Chemical full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    the salary is good, flexible work hours. for almost any engineering or scientific challenge, there's an expert somewhere at the company you can contact for advice. there's true commitment to GBLT equality.

    Cons

    Management is terrible - bad decisions at all levels, they just don't know how to run an organization or lead people... they're just out of touch administrators at all levels. Management turnover (a new boss every other year) cripples the company. Politics, politics, politics... it's not a meritocracy. Performance management (rank and yank) is corrosive. All the good people are leaving for other companies, or retiring. Constant fear of layoffs. They hire in lots of kids out of school every year, but fire the experienced people. There's almost no mobility inside the company (despite what the old timers will tell you) unless you're in management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management should be evaluated based on feedback from employees, like at Google. Take that data and put lots of resources into re-training management... if it's even possible to help them. Stop all the management turnover. Stop using forced distributions in performance management. Learn to hire experienced people, not just scooping up kids right out of school every year.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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