Pew Charitable Trusts

www.pewtrusts.org
There are newer employer reviews for Pew Charitable Trusts

9 people found this helpful  

The shine wears off quickly...

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

I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (more than a year)

Pros

The caliber of people that work at Pew is amazing. I have never worked with such intelligent, passionate individuals.

Cons

There is little to no growth opportunity. You have to be there for three years now before they will even consider promoting you, even if you have done an excellent job and deserve to be promoted. Also, Pew prefers to bring in new hires instead of promotions, so there is an extremely high turnover rate.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Promote your employees with in. They were hired because they were smart, talented and could get the job done. Why "stop-gap" them once they are in the door?

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

89 Other Employee Reviews for Pew Charitable Trusts (View Most Recent)

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  1. 13 people found this helpful  

    Challenging place to work, but worth it.

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

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I'll add my voice to that of others: great benefits. And incredibly smart people who have the opportunity to work on fascinating issues, usually in a very direct and goal-oriented way. If you work there, at almost any level, you're bound to learn a lot

    Cons

    It's not for everyone. Like large institutions, it is very bureaucratic. It's hard for individuals to have autonomy. And there's a fair amount of angst (some employees call it fear) about getting it right and not making any mistakes. I don't know that all of these things are necessarily bad--depends on how you decide to handle them. Regarding all the criticism of the CEO, I'll just say this: on a personal level, she has always been gracious to me, even though I'm sure she has never known who I was. I do believe the institution is losing the personal touch that it once had. For me, the pros outweighed the cons. Until they didn't.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not sure how you can inject the warmth and family feel that I heard so much about into such a large place. There is a lot of fear and concern over making mistakes--I've seen first-hand how it paralyzed employees. That's something worth considering, I think. All in all, it's a good place to work if you're committed to working hard and learning from the things that challenge you, and leaving when you can no longer do that.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 23 people found this helpful  

    More Toxic Than Congress

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

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Decent Benefits, Talented co-workers, looks good on resume

    Cons

    Believe what you read here and really think about whether you want to come work at Pew. The word is out on the street and the negative reviews are 100% true. So true that the president asked her IT and HR leadership “if they could just get rid of Glassdoor and make it go away.”

    People warned me not to work here, but I, of course, thought “every place has its dysfunction, right?” Pew however, is the craziest and meanest environment you will ever find yourself in. Don’t be seduced by the fact that Pew has a lot of resources and that, as a result, you can really make a difference. It’s not the case. You will not be able to navigate the heavy bureaucracy or erratic decision making in order to get your work done. And the president is so frugal that you will not be able to use the resources effectively to achieve your project goals. This is why so many ambitious and talented people leave. I started with a cohort of 15-20 people a couple of years ago and every single person that I started with (ranging from admins to directors) has quit. Trust me this is not atypical.

    Rebecca Rimel is only concerned with two things: her external reputation and the board. She has no regard for the program work or Pew’s mission and values. I can’t tell you the countless times that I have bore witness to the president forcing her staff to undertake wasteful and ineffective projects that are not strategic, at the expense of existing work. She makes emotional, last minute and ill-informed decisions, rather than fully evaluating the actual goals and costs of her proposed projects and ideas. And none of the senior leadership has the guts to stand up for their work or challenge these bad decisions because they are terrified of her. The president regularly and indiscriminately fires people, merges programs, spends large amounts of money on pet projects, cuts effective and high-performing portfolios all because she has trouble managing staff or erratically decides one day that she doesn’t like someone or a board approved piece of work. I guess it’s easier to waste the Trusts’ investment in good work and people, rather than learn how to be an effective and confident leader. Worst of all, the board is oblivious to everything because the president carefully orchestrates every communication and meeting. In addition, the president tries to force her staff and external partners into doing what she wants by relentlessly hounding people into submission (all while hypocritically preaching the Pew motto “to be polite and trust the people”). This has gotten so out of hand that Pew’s negative reputation now precedes it with stakeholders, policy makers and funders - to the point where prominent figures refuse to be in the same room with the Pew president or program leaders, key partners refuse to work with the institution and funders refuse to direct resources to our campaigns. This doesn’t even include the army of former employees who were/are so disgusted with Pew that they are out there telling people and organizations about what a terrible institution Pew is to work for and partner with. No wonder HR is having trouble recruiting good candidates.

    Don’t think that you can keep your head down and remove yourself from this craziness either. You can’t. The demoralizing management practices extend to senior management, by fostering a state where everyone is consumed with posturing for power and attention, and where a culture of “mean” is not only tolerated, but rewarded. I’ve never seen so many high-achieving, dedicated and passionate people be made to feel worthless and insecure. People are managed from their weaknesses and not their strengths. What’s even more ineffective is the fact that it takes forever to get your work approved. And everything has to be approved by the president, who requires a 4 week review time. This is for both planned and urgent/time sensitive projects that arise in the media or congress. Plus, the only way the president or any of her senior managers communicates is through memos, rather than conversation. If you have an idea or a concern, you have to put it in a memo that will then get edited by no less than five people before it can actually be sent to its intended audience.

    Lastly, instead of being the chief internal and external ambassador for Pew, Rebecca Rimel chooses to spend the majority of her time reviewing staff contracts, many for as little as $5,000 and obsessively scouring the various Pew websites. It’s not normal for a CEO to insist on spending 95% of their time signing every contract and every letter that gets sent out (every single one) instead of being out and about on behalf of the institution.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. Please take this small purview into the insane world of Pew seriously and spare yourself the worst career decision that you will ever make. Stay where you are or go somewhere else – just don’t come work for Pew.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your employees (don't micromanage), get new leadership

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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