Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Reviews | Glassdoor

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Reviews

Updated February 18, 2017
45 reviews

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5.0
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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Susan Desmond-Hellmann
Susan Desmond-Hellmann
18 Ratings

45 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • This company is known for it's great benefits (in 33 reviews)

  • BMGF has a great mission - can be very inspiring to contribute (in 25 reviews)

Cons
  • The issues that are worked on are so important that work life balance can be a struggle (in 16 reviews)

  • decision making either drawn out or not thought thoroughly through (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great benefits and mission to engage in"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - 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

    Benefits, location, time off, shared mission

    Cons

    There is a very heavy, liberal political cloud that encompasses everything, despite the foundation's official "neutral" stance.


  2. "True mission driven org"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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

    Pros

    Impact, opportunity, community, ambition, learning

    Cons

    Intense, expectations, career path, removed

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Jan 31, 2017 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Thanks so much for your timely review. I'd love to chat with you about career path if you'd be willing. We have a lot more career opportunities than many employees realize but I'd love to hear ... More


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Program Officer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Officer, Global Development in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Program Officer, Global Development in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Stimulating environment and excellent place to work if you have a fantastic manager and autonomy. You'll find people who love the foundation and those who don't, and the differentiating factor is very often your manager and portfolio.

    Cons

    You'll hear mixed reviews of managers. There is too much inward focus on strategy. The organization could use more soul and a more earnest ear to hearing outside criticism.

    Advice to Management

    Reflect more on how public policy changes the environments the foundation works in.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

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

    Thank you so very much for your thoughtful review of the foundation. We are continuing to work on our leadership and management expectations to ensure that all employees have a great manager to ... More


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "Happy Happy"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vienna, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vienna, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Absolutely compelling mission and an opportunity to work with world-class people from all over the world in health, development and education. There is some turn over at the foundation and most professionals come in at a mid-point in their careers and stay for a few years before moving on to the next big thing.

    Cons

    Sometimes difficult to see the nexus between the work being done in Seattle and how it is actually affecting people in the "field." Management is improving - in particular with some recent hires of true managers in the fields the foundation works in.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Dec 1, 2016 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Thanks so much for your review. I'm happy to hear that you feel management is improving since it is such a focus of the ELT right now.


  6. "Junior Consultant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Junior Consultant
    Former Intern - Junior Consultant

    I worked at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Every year cost around 4 billion dollars on grant payments. That money was used on Global health, Global Development, Global Policy & advocacy Communications and United States program. Our ultimate goal is to make the world better.

    Cons

    I couldn't find any bad thing in the foundation, Everyone is really nice! Any difficult things through hard work, it will be ok!


  7. "Great place to learn and grow"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Summer Intern in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Summer Intern in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You get the opportunity to work with smart, passionate people to solve some of the world's biggest problems. Great "campus" feel in Seattle--I felt proud walking in to work every day

    Cons

    Feels very siloed--at a big organization, hard for all the teams and departments to talk to each other. Also, some people seem kind of complacent in their roles; you might not necessarily get a fast-paced startup feel here at such a big, bureaucratic nonprofit, but it varies based on what team you're on.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Nov 14, 2016 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    I so appreciate your review! It sounds like you had a great opportunity as a summer intern. Thanks for your insight around the areas for improvement - they are very helpful. Best of luck in your ... More


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Program Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Amazing benefits, beautiful campus and meaningful work. The people who work there are passionate for what they do and believe in the mission.

    Cons

    The issues that are worked on are so important that work life balance can be a struggle. When a person knows that their work might impact people's lives they tend to put more time and effort into it, meaning home life can suffer.

    Advice to Management

    To hone their management skills. Many times the people who are in leadership are trained as scientists or doctors, not managers of people. More skill in this area is always a good thing.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

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

    Thank you so much for your review. It is wonderful to work at an organization with such an amazing mission. As you note, that sometimes causes employees to struggle around work life balance. In ... More


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Hard problems, amazing colleagues"

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

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

    Pros

    - Incredibly talented colleagues. Super sharp with deep experience in their field
    - Hard and meaningful problems (financial services for the poor, malaria vector control, agricultural development, etc)
    - Willingness to take bets and apply serious resources to promising solution

    Cons

    - Has become more bureaucratic over time
    - Overemphasis on presentation/performance in talking with leadership about team progress
    - unclear career path for younger employees

    Advice to Management

    Keep being willing to make big bets. Use strategy and analysis to make sure you're making the right bets; don't let it force smaller/safer ones.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Aug 4, 2016 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Thanks so much for your review. It's always great to get such constructive feedback.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Program Coordinator"

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

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

    Pros

    Great experience, great team! Lots of training.

    Cons

    Hard to know if you will be extended, made FTE or let go at end of contract. Volt tries to sell you on the "very likely" to be extended or brought on. Who knows?

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Nov 7, 2016 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Thanks so much for your post. I'm glad you have had a great experience so far.


  11. "A good organization"

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

    Pros

    Great mission and great people. The work is meaningful, and you know that you are working to make a difference in the world and to help those in need.

    Cons

    The work is often aligned along program lines and not necessarily across overall desired results across the overall body of work of the organization.

    Advice to Management

    Continue efforts to tell the organization's story and to integrate efforts across program areas to achieve desired results on both the issues and geographies of interest

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Nov 8, 2016 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Thanks so much for your review. I know that we are focusing on how to best integrate the work and to prioritize our collective success. I'm thrilled that you seem to be thriving here.



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