Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Reviews | Glassdoor

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Reviews

Updated August 23, 2017
65 reviews

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3.0
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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Susan Desmond-Hellmann
Susan Desmond-Hellmann
22 Ratings

65 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great benefits for full-time employees, not interns or part time (in 37 reviews)

  • Great mission, fabulous people and actively working to get better all the time, with the resources to do it (in 29 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance might be difficult (in 17 reviews)

  • Extreme bias btwn full time and contract employee (in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Program Officer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Inspiring mission, systems level problem solving, excellent benefits, strong networking opportunities in field of specialization

    Cons

    Politically motivated culture, not collaborative, limited career development opportunities

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Sep 8, 2017 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Thanks for your review. It's great to hear that you are seeing system level problem solving and external and internal networking both of which are critical to our ongoing success. As you know, we are... More


  2. "Associate Program Officer"

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

    I have been working at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time

    Pros

    Great mission, but difficult working environment.

    Cons

    Very competitive staff, Managers who a subject matter experts, but weak managers

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Jul 5, 2017 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Thanks for your review. As Sue Hellmann has said, "everyone deserves a great manager." The Executive Leadership team, the HR organization and many other leaders are working to make this a consistent... More

  3. "IT"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great mission. Great Benefits. Employees genuinely want to do the right thing.

    Cons

    Constant re-orgs that lead to change fatigue. IT specifically, is now on our third CIO (one CDO) just in the last 4 years. It's hard to find challenging and compelling work in IT. It's easy to feel disconnected to the programmatic work when working in IT or other operations teams.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Jun 24, 2017 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    I'm sorry you are having some negative experiences within our IT function. Would you like to discuss how we can do better within your function. The work that our IT team does is so critical to the... More


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Great mission but difficult decision making"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Deputy Director in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Deputy Director in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You can't beat the mission. I love that what I do contributes to a better world. People are incredibly nice and arguably too nice because it makes decision making difficult.

    Cons

    Tasks are inefficient. To get anything accomplished, you need to have multiple coffee conversations with multiple stakeholders.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Apr 24, 2017 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Thanks so much for your feedback. I'd love to chat with you about your experience and the decision making challenges you seem to be having. Would you be willing to have a meeting with me to discuss... More


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great mission and nice place to do meaningful work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Program Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Program Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great compensation and benefits
    Working on improving culture

    Cons

    Limited career development opportunities
    People tend to have an entitled attitude

    Advice to Management

    Managers need to learn how to be better people managers.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Mar 13, 2017 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Thanks so much for taking time to post this review. We have found that there are a lot more career development opportunities than what most may realize. Sue and the ELT are very focused on ensuring... More


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Great if you are on the right team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time

    Pros

    The benefits are amazing. Campus is beautiful. You feel that you are a part of good work in the world.

    Cons

    It's an org full of Type-A workaholics. Your experience will vary wildly depending on whether your manager has the time and/or ability to manage their team.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Mar 13, 2017 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Thanks so much for posting this helpful review. We certainly have an organization of deeply committed individuals and sometimes our time for management has been de-prioritized but hopefully, you will... More


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Program Officer"

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

    I have been working at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time

    Pros

    Good compensation. Smart people. Friendly colleagues.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy makes it difficult to achieve goals.

    Advice to Management

    Prioritize staff management.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Mar 13, 2017 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Thanks so much for your post. I am pleased to hear the positive comments about your colleagues. Staff management is definitely a focus for leadership over the next few years. If you'd like to provide... More

  8. "Program Assistant Volt"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a contractor

    Pros

    Wonderful people and interesting work.

    Cons

    Contract. I can't travel international without approval or I do not receive benefits.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great mission, management needs work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There is something about walking through the doors at the Gates Foundation that is super empowering. The Foundation is taking on enormous challenges, and it feels good to contribute to that mission.

    Cons

    The ability to collaborate across programs needs some work. There are some managers who use fear as a strategy, which seems very counterintuitive to the overall mission.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Jan 5, 2017 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Happy New Year and thanks so much for your review. I share your experience when walking through the doors. In order to create a more powerful collaboration across programs,our leaders will be... More


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    This is a great mission and benefits.

    Cons

    The company culture is not an easy place to work.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Aug 29, 2016 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Thanks so much for your review. If you have more specifics around the culture, please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly. pam.yanchik@gatesfoundation.org


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