The World Bank

  www.worldbank.org
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The World Bank Reviews

Updated June 20, 2014
Updated June 20, 2014
288 Reviews

3.5
288 Reviews
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The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
Jim Yong Kim
94 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance is great, together with the benefits and people (in 19 reviews)

  • The work environment differs greatly within the Bank (in 16 reviews)


Cons
  • Consultants comprise over 60% of the workforce at WBG headquarters, with no benefits or job security (in 13 reviews)

  • No benefits and little job security (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

9 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    WB

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

    Pros

    The pay is good and so are the benefits.

    Cons

    It can be a stressful bureaucratic place.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Exploitative and unethical to the core towards STCs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Short-term Consultant (STC)  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC

    Pros

    The only good thing about The World Bank is its mandate - but the current organization does a very ineffective and inefficient job of it
    The other good thing is the restructuring - I hope it throws out some of the less competent senior folks

    Cons

    I have worked here as an STC over last 6 months and have found the organization to be highly political and even unethical.
    Coming from over 15 years of work in private sector consulting, I can confidently say that this organization is wasting the resources it gets. With the same funds, the same organization can potentially have much greater impact but for the fact that people (and senior people at TTL and even sector manager level) here are more concerned about saving their throats than getting a good job done
    For example, when one TTL offered me a fair rate as per the guidelines of the bank for STCs (he did not realize he was an exception in this otherwise exploitative environment where STCs actually do all the work and the permanent staff take credit while minimizing their fees), other TTLs and even one sector manager in another region went hammer and tongs after that TTL because they have been exploiting STCs by giving them much lower than the rates that the guidelines dictate. In fact when I confronted them with a copy of the guidelines to prove that the rate offered was correct, they obliquely admitted but said that they could not be "unfair" to the other consultants who agree to work at lower than the rates mandated by the guidelines.
    The TTL who offered me the correct rate was forced to withdraw my contract (he and two others told me so in as many words) by his sector manager because she was told by the other region's TTLs that if they started offering fair rates to STCs their costs will rise! My contract with fair rate was withdrawn without ANY intimation to me while I was naively working as per the TOR! Not once but twice; in private both TTLs admitted to this being wrong; one even suggesting that I take it to the ethics committee but adding that it will be "risky".
    Net net my learning from my time here is that this place is full of less competent people who chose a lazy govt job and have learnt the art of covering themselves and finding people to do the work for them and taking their credit (am sure there are exceptions but I have not found many yet)
    If there is some way to privatize this place, it should be - guzzling of donated resources by incompetent political and unethical set of people... tragic, really.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Weed out the political incompetent senior folks; interview some of them for their job role again and you will find that you will easily find better people

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Wish I had not wasted all these years...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant in Washington, DC

    Pros

    Good experience to place on resume

    Cons

    Expected to work very long hours, permanent staff rely on consultants and temps to do their work and then will take credit for it, a lot of very unprofessional and arrogant staff at all levels, hard to trust your colleagues, fearful and passive/aggressive work environment

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Downsize the Bank drastically -- it is long overdue. I hope Dr. Kim has what it takes to dismantle this corrupt and dangerous institution that only serves to benefit its staff and not the disadvantaged.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    The place thats takes earnest young people and slowly turns them into cynical drones

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Short-term Consultant (STC)  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC

    Pros

    Really multinational work atmosphere. Fantastic cafeteria.

    Cons

    Really multinational ... Restricted upward mobility

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer clear career trajectories

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Dog eat dog world bank

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Officer  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Operations Officer in Washington, DC

    Pros

    Good salary, good vacation and benefits

    Cons

    Competitive, workaholic culture, perverse incentives for performance and un-transparent decision-making.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    The Bank is stuck in the 1990s when it comes to technology.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Contractor  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - IT Contractor in Washington, DC

    Pros

    Flexible and family friendly.
    Great location.
    The cafeteria is out of this world. The gym is brand new.
    A great place to work at if you are an economist or social scientist. Otherwise, stay clear.

    Cons

    If you are in IT, please do not join the bank. The pay is subpar, job security is nil. If you stay, prepare for a trip to the 1990s and lose all relevancy in the job market. You will be stuck at the World Bank, because nobody else will hire you with your irrelevant skills.
    An extremely political environment, very resistant to change. A lot of arrogance. Prepare to be shouted at and ostracized, if you dare to speak up.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    terrible culture, no meritocracy, poor management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - *** Specialist, Africa  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - *** Specialist, Africa in Washington, DC

    Pros

    travel opportunities, interesting work, important mission

    Cons

    horrific and outdated management practices, poor pay and no benefits for consultants, no HR strategy, rampant abuse (esp of women in the workplace - the World Bank is immune in US courts)

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

    Not for long run

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Consultant in Washington, DC

    Pros

    international experience, good exposure to poverty issues and also an understanding of why the world bank system does not work...

    Cons

    Many of the professionals are low quality but too proud to see that....

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    you can never reform the developing world without reforming yourself first...
    too much delay in project formulation and project implementation
    lack understanding of ground realities....the operational work for the world bank is policy tables in country capital...the real world is far far below in villages, about which the staff, sadly, lack understanding...

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    World Bank - You ain't going to make a difference in the world.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    Pros

    Great benefits and compensation for employees high up the corporate ladder.

    Cons

    The Bank does not want to appear too "progressive, recognizing real world issues" - A quote from my boss. Yes It is true that political issues, concerns are at the foreground of all work. Anyone thinking that he/she will make a difference in the world while working at the World Bank has a lot to learn about bureaucracy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    WB Senior Management needs to take a proactive stance and truly evaluate staff. Many become complacent, ineffective and self serving. Senior Management needs to stop scratching each others' back and realize that they could do good work if they stop all the "b.s."

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

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