Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Reviews

Updated September 3, 2015
142 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
  • Full-time
  • Part-time
Employment Status

Reset
3.0
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Susan Desmond-Hellmann
Susan Desmond-Hellmann
16 Ratings

Pros
  • Great benefits and retirement package (in 18 reviews)

  • New campus is beautiful and gives an appearance of transparency (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • The amazing work-life balance others report is solely dependent upon the team you land in and the manager you have (in 12 reviews)

  • There isn't a clear program structure for summer interns to get full-time jobs at the Foundation (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

142 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Helpful (4)

    Hard work for a history-making institution

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The aim of the foundation is to deliver on the belief that everyone deserves the chance to live a healthy and productive life; as an employee, all of your work goes towards this, even if it may not feel like it every day. I'm so proud of the organization, my time there, and the effort of so many creative passionate coworkers, not to mention the impact on millions of lives, now and forever. You're part of something bigger than yourself and that's tough to beat.

    Cons

    The foundation has gotten much larger over the years. Its giving has also increased substantially, both in terms of amount and geographical distribution. As such, I think it has become more complicated to get things done inside of the foundation. The organizational processes haven't quite kept pace and I think people don't necessarily stop to improve, but instead work harder to get things done. I don't think this is very different from any other growing organization. Leaders, along with staff, are actively focused on improving this.

    Advice to Management

    Don't make changes so quickly that people are left in the dust. Make change bearable, and in turn, sustainable in the long-run. You can rev an engine pretty hard and it'll produce and perform, but take it to red-line too suddenly and too often, and it'll give up.


  2. program assistant

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    you have to work really hard bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

    Cons

    nice place but politics mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Advice to Management

    n/a


  3. It's all about the manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Officer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Program Officer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Ridiculously good benefits, beautiful campus, frequent high-profile visitors

    Cons

    When there is a management issue, it is virtually impossible to get it addressed regardless of the route you take to deal with it. If you make too much noise about it, you become the problem.

    Advice to Management

    Get down to the SPO level of management evaluation sooner rather than later.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Executive Office

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    BMGF has a great mission - can be very inspiring to contribute. Very talented people to work with.

    Cons

    They are cultural challenges, somewhat related to the immense scale of the work. Related to that, work domains can be silo'ed. But leadership is working hard to address the issues.


  6. Helpful (16)

    Family foundation without family feel.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    So many amazing people work here. Smarter and more caring than average. Benefits are outstanding. Campus is beautiful - very transparent with all the glass, and open floor spaces with most people not in offices.

    Cons

    The mission is being buried under a thickening layer of politics and cost saving initiatives. Fear is ruling - fear of making a mistake or being cut from staff to save money and unlock 'the power of small'. Those of us left behind are increasingly worried about the snake oil new leadership seems to be selling.

    Advice to Management

    Return to the family foundation that led to the eradication of polio and the closing of the digital divide through the institution of public libraries. Stop selling the 'power of small' and 'pivot changes' which aren't well thought through; they address a problem that doesn't exist, and instead create new profound issues in the areas of employee trust and morale.


  7. Helpful (6)

    Great Employer, Little opportunity for career growth

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time

    Pros

    Great learning opportunities. Get to work with really smart people from many different backgrounds. Good network.

    Cons

    Very few career growth opportunities. Most people are hired into a job and end up leaving from that job without making a jump internally.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Program Manager

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

    I worked at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Excellent experience in the field of education, highly innovative teams, very fast paced, exciting place to work and to make change in the world

    Cons

    At times, too fast paced and decision-making systems unclear or opaque. Strong culture is lacking on the general teams--but is dependent on the specific teams you work with.

    Advice to Management

    Go slow to go fast; listen to employees who are closer to the front-lines. Pay attention to culture and to the 'how' of the work -- not just the 'what' of the work. Listen to grantees.


  9. Helpful (9)

    Good doing, bad business model

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Mission, smart people and a great environment to work. Also the mission, the mission, the mission. Did I mention the mission?

    Cons

    Politics are over the top. Egos are, too. Bureaucracy could actually help, but no one wants to admit that they need it. Too much naval gazing.

    Advice to Management

    Tone down the rhetoric. Hire managers who want to manage, not be visionaries. Hire people who are not going to leave after two years.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Gates Foundation

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The Foundation provides a great benefits package that is hard to beat!

    Cons

    Little to no upward mobility


  11. Helpful (6)

    Eh...

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, beautiful campus, great cafe. New technologies give you a chance to get experience with new tools. Parking available!

    Cons

    Poor management and while leadership has talked for years of focusing on improving skills, it doesn't happen. No longer the 'family foundation' it once was.



Showing 142 of 163 reviews
Reset Filters
RSS Feed </> Embed

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.