The World Bank Reviews

Updated April 28, 2015
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3.4
378 Reviews
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The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
Jim Yong Kim
126 Ratings

Pros
  • Work life balance can be good if the travel schedule isn't too onerous (in 23 reviews)

  • Great internarional work environment and opportunities to travel (in 22 reviews)

Cons
  • no benefits, cannot work more than 150 days per year so many end up working for free (in 18 reviews)

  • The culture does not favor the growth of junior staff, especially short-term consultants (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Great organization to work for but staff are very unprofessional. Not the best place for career advancement.

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

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Staff have access to all the resources needed to have the job done.

    Cons

    Poor working environment with lot of gossiping and insecure staff members.

    Advice to Management

    The hiring process has to be centralized and HR personnel should be held accountable for poor hiring.

  2. Stay away

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

    I have been working at The World Bank

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

    Pros

    European-length vacation and great benefits

    Cons

    Filled with snotty internationals whose only reason for wanting to be a the Bank is so they can get a visa and their families can live in the US

    Advice to Management

    Give up. Close the place down and start over.

  3. Helpful (5)

    hypocritical, hierarchical and feudal. An awful place to work!

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

    I worked at The World Bank full-time

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

    Pros

    Big salary! Huge perks, and the lightest workload I have had in my whole career.

    Cons

    A management system that often resembles feudal Europe. An organization completely devoid of creativity and imagination. A lot of staff who have no business working on development and often seem exclusively interested in self-promotion and large salaries. A work environment based on conflict rather than cooperation.

    Advice to Management

    Retire some of the staff that have been there for too long. Hire based on merit and not just from a narrow pool of US schools that teach people to think the same way.

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  5. WB

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

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    The pay is good and so are the benefits.

    Cons

    It can be a stressful bureaucratic place.

  6. Helpful (2)

    Exploitative and unethical to the core towards STCs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC
    Current Contractor - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC

    I have been working at The World Bank as a contractor (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    The only good thing about The World Bank is its mandate - but the current organization does a very ineffective and inefficient job of it
    The other good thing is the restructuring - I hope it throws out some of the less competent senior folks

    Cons

    I have worked here as an STC over last 6 months and have found the organization to be highly political and even unethical.
    Coming from over 15 years of work in private sector consulting, I can confidently say that this organization is wasting the resources it gets. With the same funds, the same organization can potentially have much greater impact but for the fact that people (and senior people at TTL and even sector manager level) here are more concerned about saving their throats than getting a good job done
    For example, when one TTL offered me a fair rate as per the guidelines of the bank for STCs (he did not realize he was an exception in this otherwise exploitative environment where STCs actually do all the work and the permanent staff take credit while minimizing their fees), other TTLs and even one sector manager in another region went hammer and tongs after that TTL because they have been exploiting STCs by giving them much lower than the rates that the guidelines dictate. In fact when I confronted them with a copy of the guidelines to prove that the rate offered was correct, they obliquely admitted but said that they could not be "unfair" to the other consultants who agree to work at lower than the rates mandated by the guidelines.
    The TTL who offered me the correct rate was forced to withdraw my contract (he and two others told me so in as many words) by his sector manager because she was told by the other region's TTLs that if they started offering fair rates to STCs their costs will rise! My contract with fair rate was withdrawn without ANY intimation to me while I was naively working as per the TOR! Not once but twice; in private both TTLs admitted to this being wrong; one even suggesting that I take it to the ethics committee but adding that it will be "risky".
    Net net my learning from my time here is that this place is full of less competent people who chose a lazy govt job and have learnt the art of covering themselves and finding people to do the work for them and taking their credit (am sure there are exceptions but I have not found many yet)
    If there is some way to privatize this place, it should be - guzzling of donated resources by incompetent political and unethical set of people... tragic, really.

    Advice to Management

    Weed out the political incompetent senior folks; interview some of them for their job role again and you will find that you will easily find better people

  7. Helpful (4)

    Wish I had not wasted all these years...

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

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Good experience to place on resume

    Cons

    Expected to work very long hours, permanent staff rely on consultants and temps to do their work and then will take credit for it, a lot of very unprofessional and arrogant staff at all levels, hard to trust your colleagues, fearful and passive/aggressive work environment

    Advice to Management

    Downsize the Bank drastically -- it is long overdue. I hope Dr. Kim has what it takes to dismantle this corrupt and dangerous institution that only serves to benefit its staff and not the disadvantaged.

  8. Helpful (2)

    The place thats takes earnest young people and slowly turns them into cynical drones

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC
    Current Contractor - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC

    I have been working at The World Bank 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

    Really multinational work atmosphere. Fantastic cafeteria.

    Cons

    Really multinational ... Restricted upward mobility

    Advice to Management

    Offer clear career trajectories

  9. Helpful (3)

    Dog eat dog world bank

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

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Good salary, good vacation and benefits

    Cons

    Competitive, workaholic culture, perverse incentives for performance and un-transparent decision-making.

  10. Helpful (4)

    The Bank is stuck in the 1990s when it comes to technology.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Contractor in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - IT Contractor in Washington, DC

    I have been working at The World Bank

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

    Pros

    Flexible and family friendly.
    Great location.
    The cafeteria is out of this world. The gym is brand new.
    A great place to work at if you are an economist or social scientist. Otherwise, stay clear.

    Cons

    If you are in IT, please do not join the bank. The pay is subpar, job security is nil. If you stay, prepare for a trip to the 1990s and lose all relevancy in the job market. You will be stuck at the World Bank, because nobody else will hire you with your irrelevant skills.
    An extremely political environment, very resistant to change. A lot of arrogance. Prepare to be shouted at and ostracized, if you dare to speak up.

  11. Helpful (2)

    terrible culture, no meritocracy, poor management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - *** Specialist, Africa in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - *** Specialist, Africa in Washington, DC

    I have been working at The World Bank

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    travel opportunities, interesting work, important mission

    Cons

    horrific and outdated management practices, poor pay and no benefits for consultants, no HR strategy, rampant abuse (esp of women in the workplace - the World Bank is immune in US courts)

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