Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Reviews

Updated Mar 30, 2021

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4.3
81%
Recommend to a Friend
99%
Approve of CEO
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman
Mark Suzman
19 Ratings
Pros
  • "Good pay, great benefits, focus on good management/managers(in 50 reviews)

  • "Great mission and incredible benefits(in 35 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Say goodbye to work-life balance and expect to travel a lot(in 23 reviews)

  • "Decision making is often hamstrung by politics(in 20 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

    Ratings by Demographics

    This rating reflects the overall rating of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is not affected by filters.

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years
      Featured Review

      Great mission, great people, great benefits

      Aug 26, 2020 - Senior Program Officer Global Policy & Advocacy in Seattle, WA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Excellent benefits, fair compensation, and the mission is at the core of the work.

      Cons

      Evolving DEI approach, little mobility internally.

      1 person found this review helpful
    2. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Security

      Mar 25, 2021 - Information Security Analyst in Chicago, IL
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Support, lots of resources, and amazing team

      Cons

      Strict dress code, must be on time

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    3. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Great people, Great work

      Feb 1, 2021 - Software Test Engineer in Seattle, WA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The people at this company are some of the smartest and most dedicated I've ever met. Everyone truly believes in the value of what they are doing and this sense of duty is present in daily work and interactions. Benefits are amazing, pay is good, and ability to go to sleep at night has gone up remarkably with the start of this job.

      Cons

      People work a lot. People work so hard and so often that the company has "quiet weeks" which ensure that people can't do meetings and are forced to focus on work and take it easy. Management definitely tries to get people to work less but if your work is "saving the world" it becomes harder and harder to justify taking time off. That said, much effort is made to ensure that employees have a good work life balance.

      3 people found this review helpful
    4. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 10 years

      Middle Management Rules the Day

      Mar 1, 2021 - Senior Program Officer in Seattle, WA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Great benefits - CEO who seems to genuinely care and wants to work on known cultural problems - Beautiful campus - Connection to a larger mission

      Cons

      - Your experience is highly manager-dependent and while many are good, some are appallingly bad with little to no consequence. - Performance, credentials, and expertise are valued over interpersonal skills and trust building, allowing some individuals to get away with abusive behavior without consequence. - Total lack of diversity and unconscious adherence to white supremacy culture where cutthroat behavior is normalized and employees who are actually from the places we work are marginalized and/or pushed out and where grant dollars go to white-led institutions, especially in research. - Smart young people are hired and then marginalized with little opportunity for upward mobility. Generally, BMGF is the place to finish your career, not get it started (although there are a few exceptions). Programmatic roles are generally occupied by people who skew toward retirement age. - Generous benefits for parents on paper, but systemic discrimination of women with caregiving responsibilities in practice. This has showed up in major ways during COVID, where expectation have remained astronomically high and women are starting to leave. I know of several instances of women being denied opportunities or pushed out because of their caregiving responsibilities during COVID. - Major disconnect between our "talk" (i.e. what Bill and Melinda write and speak about) and our "walk" (i.e. how we do our work and how employees are treated internally).

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      16 people found this review helpful
    5. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Just Know What You’re Getting Into...

      Mar 7, 2021 - Deputy Director in Seattle, WA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The Foundation is hands down the definition of generosity. The pay, benefits and perks are like no other. This review is not about the company and their generosity, it’s about the culture. When you get your shiny, impressive job offer, just know what you’re getting into. My rating is an average. 5 stars for the spirit of generosity, pay and working with fantastic people. 1 star for culture. To be fair, my rating fell in the middle at 3.

      Cons

      -First, the most brilliant minds in the world work here. It also means there is very little forward movement. We spend months talking and toiling about “strategy” and making everything more complicated than it needs to be. The partners in the field are doing the tough work. We are investing the money. It should not be that complicated - but the Gates culture is hooked on complicated. -Second , lack of diversity and unconscious adherence to white supremacy culture where cutthroat behavior is normalized. Employees who are actually from the places we are supposed to be supporting are marginalized and/or pushed out. Grant dollars go to white-led, “elite” institutions and there is little interest in changing this. It’s actually quite shocking for a place that claims “All Lives Have Equal Value.” -Third, the HR department is a disaster. HR gets a bad rap in most organizations and it’s not always fair. However, at the Foundation it’s the worst I’ve ever experienced. There are way too many of them (like 70 HR people). The left has no idea what the right is doing, you ask a question and you get four different answers, and the turnover is ridiculous. Ive been a people leader for 4 years and had over a dozen HR people come and go. You can barely get a question about basic benefits answered. Don’t get me started on the recruiting process and philosophy on pay equity. -Fourth, your team will go through change every 6 months so just expect it and plan for it. I understand change is inevitable, but it’s almost a disease at the foundation. It goes back to my first point, they make things complicated for no reason, which results in constant change and reinventing the wheel over and over again.

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      9 people found this review helpful
    6. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Sense of purpose

      Feb 23, 2021 - Senior Manager Program Management in Seattle, WA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      There’s no better place to work to have a clear sense of purpose and feel connected to the mission of the org.

      Cons

      Mis-alignment in IT spend vs level of service expectations

      1 person found this review helpful
    7. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Great place to work, roles are demanding

      Feb 24, 2021 - Program Assistant in Seattle, WA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Top experts, cutting edge of foundation work.

      Cons

      Long hours, smartest-in-the-room mentality leads to interesting work environment.

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    8. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Inspiring, political and commanding.

      Feb 1, 2021 - Program Officer in Seattle, WA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Expected to think big, demonstrate excellence, be strategic and very hard working.

      Cons

      As with anywhere, your experience will be dependent upon your manager in many ways. Get with a great manager, and the sky is the limit.

      1 person found this review helpful
    9. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Culture needs some work

      Mar 15, 2021 - Senior Program Officer, Global Development in Seattle, WA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Some great people, interesting and varied work, connections at high level with organisations all over the world

      Cons

      Culture can be tough, success is often measured by performance in meetings with the co-chairs rather than on programmatic performance.

      1 person found this review helpful
    10. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Great mission & total compensation; difficult for career advancement

      Mar 17, 2021 - Senior Officer in Seattle, WA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Opportunities to have impact, support for work/life balance, extraordinarily talented colleagues

      Cons

      Lack of professional development opportunities (horizontal and vertical), limited opportunity for compensation increases

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    Viewing 1 - 10 of 221 Reviews

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