Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

www.gatesfoundation.org
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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Reviews

Updated April 20, 2015
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3.3
126 Reviews
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Approve of CEO
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Susan Desmond-Hellmann
Susan Desmond-Hellmann
8 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)

  • Support of management for consultants is more than the full time employees (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Program Assistant

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

    I worked at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great mission, great salary, good working environment, excellent learning opportunities,

    Cons

    Difficult to move up, high value placed on PhD, not very collaborative, large egos at play get in the way of the mission, business systems very cumbersome

    Advice to Management

    create more channels for employees to move up within the organization

  2. Helpful (3)

    Learned a lot but had to walk on egg shells

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Administrative Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Former Contractor - Administrative Assistant in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a contractor (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    -My manager gave me plenty of opportunities to grow my skillset but that wasn't the case with most positions.
    -Very professional, intelligent colleagues
    -Operations side of the work was very collaborative
    -Benefits
    -Perks and happy hours all over the campus were great for networking

    Cons

    -People will throw others under the bus often to get ahead.
    -Every mistake is scrutinized
    -You must be overqualified to get a job which can be unrewarding.

  3. Helpful (2)

    Director

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time

    Pros

    Great mission and committed staff

    Cons

    Very political. The foundation uses it's position and wealth like a hammer (especially with grantees).

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


  5. 3 years at Gates

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great mission and motivated people. Everyone is truly there because they believe in the work that the foundation is doin

    Cons

    It is a difficult place to have a career. Promotions are rare. The skills you learn aren't necessarily transferrable to other companies.

    Advice to Management

    I would advise management to invest in their employee's growth and to consider promoting from within.

  6. Helpful (2)

    Great in a lot of way, not so great in some important ways

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Opportunity to work for an organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of others
    -Environment where everyone feels passion for the mission
    -Continual learning opportunities
    -Amazingly talented and motivated colleagues
    -Participating in conversations with great thinkers and subject-matter experts
    -Very good compensation and benefits

    Cons

    -Culture of perfectionism
    -Inconsistent experience across the foundation in terms of job satisfaction (brilliant minds do not always translate into great managers)
    -Lots of fire-drills and seemingly unnecessary churn
    -Tools and systems are not as sophisticated as needed to support programs/operations
    -Continual change and tendency towards complexity
    -Extremely challenging to find work/life balance
    -Llimited opportunities for career progression

  7. Helpful (2)

    Besides Rigor, Collaboration, and Optimism, and Innovation - you could add Humility. It is lacking a great deal...

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

    I worked at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Want to get things done? Its who you know and how you stroke their ego. Benefits are great.

    Cons

    Still an "Old Boys Club", as in "It's who you know". Positions in leadership rarely get opened up to staff and others outside of the org. It is given to people who are the most vocal, stroke peoples egos, and play the political games.

    Advice to Management

    Perhaps try and be a little more transparent about what you do.

  8. Deputy Director, Strategy Planning and Management

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

    I have been working at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Inspirational place to work - great people, brilliant minds

    Cons

    Highly focused on perfectionism. Sometimes difficult to move work forward

  9. Helpful (1)

    great experience

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    great learning and networking opportunities

    Cons

    limited growth trajectory from an administrative perspective

    Advice to Management

    continue to expand upon your career growth philosophies

  10. Helpful (15)

    Good place to work but not the best place to work.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Best benefit package.
    Great retirement benefits.
    Some awesome pool of smart super intelligent people.
    People from diverse background understand and follow the mission.
    Great campus.
    Get to meet with Bill & Melinda, Mr. Bill Sr., and also Warren Buffet.

    Cons

    Not the best place to work.
    Hurts to see that many people don't even follow the mission. Apparently 'All lives have equal value', is not practiced by each manager. Amazing to see that your title speaks so much about the behavior and treatment from high level people, especially in your own team. You will be the luckiest if you end up in a team that has a great manager.

    No growth opportunities. If u apply for other roles within the organization, you become the most unfavorable person on the team.

    A lot of perception which is highly biased and doesn't work in your favor. If they don't want you they will find a reason you ensure you are gone. Double standards are hurtful to see. Hoping that with the new CEO, things will change for better.

    Advice to Management

    Ensure your management follows the mission. A few bad managers spoil the whole mix.

  11. Helpful (7)

    Contribute to the greater good, but make sure you take care of yourself

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The mission is fantastic. The benefits are amazing. If you are on a good team, the colleagues are great. Most people have their heart in the right place.

    Cons

    It's a large group of type-A personalities in one space. Tools don't always work together. Can be very bogged down with red tape and the culture can be fraught with minefields. Some teams are quite dysfunctional.

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