Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

www.gatesfoundation.org
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Nice company to work with

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

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

Recommends
Recommends

Pros

Job satisfaction. Great workplace. Great people

Cons

No Cons as i can think of.

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  1. Helpful (8)

    Culture is intense. Mission is inspirational. Benefits are awesome!

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - You will never lose your job because of the economy
    - You will be around the most passionate, intelligent, and dedicated people on the planet
    - The benefits are incredible especially if you have a family

    Cons

    - You will likely lose your job because of burnout or a random reorganization
    - Consultants will probably get the roles you want. If you're working in supporting the mission outside of the grant-making process (such as in IT, Finance, HR etc), you will feel a little left out from the grantee-facing work
    - Culture is highly political and heroic efforts are expected. Sometimes, you will wonder whether better planning could have prevented the heroic efforts

    Advice to Management

    Enjoy the job while you can. If you can make it past the five year mark, you deserve a standing ovation along with the cool gift. Being a manager at the foundation is probably the toughest job you will ever love


  2. Helpful (18)

    You'll be glad your year is up.

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

    I have been working at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a contractor (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Huge projects with relatively inexhaustible budgets. Unique intersection of academia and commerce. Highly diverse. Lots of smart people. Young people. Excited people. Beautiful building, very comfortable to work in.

    Cons

    The glamour will wear off, make no mistake.

    I worked here for a year in a temp support role. It was possibly the most demoralizing place I've ever worked. Highly dysfunctional management only gives voice to the most aggressive stakeholders. An environment that practically encourages backbiting and extreme competitiveness. Very little respect for support staff whom they churn and burn, and shed no tears in the act. Most support staff have BA/BS. Many have MA/MS degrees. These are not slackers who took an easy path in life. But they are treated like they are subhuman. Physically segregated from the teams they support. Planted out in the open, clustered around library study carrels with no privacy or ability to close off and do some work. You hear everyone eat, chew, talk on their phone, stifle their coughs. It's awful.

    Working with program staff is much like working with a petulant, genius child. One who hasn't had the life experience to understand how unreasonably they are behaving. But never gets told no by management. Very chilly people who are hard to make inroads with. You will definitely be sized you up to see if you are worth their career. Just an uncomfortable mix of people, and it didn't get better after a year.

    Organizationally a mess. Constant turn over in staff. In one year I saw 5 program officers leave in rapid succession. Don't even ask about the support staff. They are like throwaway people to this place. The foundation skirts ethical limits by using temps, but only for one year to avoid breaking state law. The nature of these "temporary positions" is in no way temporary. You're doing core work. Getting yelled at. Being held responsible for millions of dollars. Tackling an intractable bureaucracy. These jobs don't go away after a season, or because someone vacates them. They are refreshed every 12 months with a new soul who just wants a job and thinks it would be pretty cool to work at the Gates Foundation. Run as fast as you can.

    There are nonstop refreshes, updates, renaming, change for change's sake. A stated goal to "reduce complexity" somehow manifests into more and more databases and steps and processes for doing very simple tasks. Investment Workflow is a nightmare. Gateway is a nightmare. If you don't get it, then the problem is you. Not the over-engineered process pulling from four databases that requires multiple teams to keep running and updating and refreshing and starting from scratch in 6 months. Your brain will be sore after 2 months.

    If you take an assignment here, you will no doubt

    Advice to Management

    Maybe rethink the whole philanthropy thing. And the management thing. And the "contingent" staff thing. And the awful culture thing.


There are newer employer reviews for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
There are newer employer reviews for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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