Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  www.gatesfoundation.org
  www.gatesfoundation.org
There are newer employer reviews for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

5 people found this helpful  

Its not Microsoft, but it sure feels the same sometimes

  • 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 as a contractor (more than an year)

Pros

Well funded. Nice to work on people causes.

Cons

So process-oriented that its no fun. Also hard to see so much money spent on process rather than outcome.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Take the occasional chance. Empower your teams instead of micro-managing them.

Doesn't Recommend
Positive Outlook
No opinion of CEO

116 Other Employee Reviews for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (View Most Recent)

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  1. 9 people found this helpful  

    Great mission, rewarding work but unhealthy culture of backstabbing, disrespect and lack of leadership.

    • 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)

    Pros

    If you want to work with some of the brightest people, use the latest technology and feel like you're making a difference then this is an amazing place to work. The campus is beautiful and the benefits are exceptional. Great place for people who are self starters, who know what to do and just do it. The operations areas are among the more people-friendly areas in which to work. There is a great deal of opportunity here.

    Cons

    Unfortunately this is a very challenging environment. The executive management team doesn't seem to have a clue as to what the "worker bees" need to get their jobs done. Their answer is process and more process. Just when you think there can't possibly be another set of templates, another committee, another whole department with some long acronym designed to help you get stuff done... And, at the end of the day, you are just a cog in the machine. They know the work will chew you up in 2 or 3 years tops. And they don't care because there is an endless parade of wide eyed people eager to have a chance to work there.
    Many managers have no idea how to manage people. Don't bother complaining to HR though. HR is the department of platitudes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do more listening and less talking. There is survey after survey that illustrates that people are hungry for the truth, hungry for a healthy culture that is on par with the caliber of the mission. And hire managers who know how to manage, who are leaders and mentors. And hire some HR people who care about humans.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    "Every human life has equal value... unless you work here"

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

    I worked at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazing to work on projects with the potential to have scaled impact on people's lives

    Some of the smartest most talented people I have had the pleasure to work with (but they are not the managers and leaders)

    Cons

    One of the most poisonous political environments I have ever experienced - this is academia supercharged with large check books. Fifedom's abound.

    Senior managers lack good management skills and have no accountability for their own organizational health

    Very little visability with executives/leaders - senior managers control all the information flow.

    Incredibly bureaucratic for an organization of this size - Microsoft has a more nimble bureacracy than BMGF

    Many unhappy people inside who live in fear because they have few career options in Seattle with the same prestige, so they are forced to stay there

    Abstracted from the real work on the ground and depend too much on consultants who make $200+ per hour to inform their decision making.

    Don't value on the ground immersion and don't reward telling the truth when something is not going well on the ground, in fact they punish it

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Break down the walls with the rank and file employees
    Create more transparency and safe communication
    Stop measuring success by how much you meet your grant giving quota each year and instead really measure teams by how much impact has been achieved

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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