Mary Kay Reviews | Glassdoor

Mary Kay Reviews

Updated September 20, 2017
37 reviews

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2.0
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Mary Kay President and CEO David B. Holl
David B. Holl
13 Ratings

37 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great benefits and work/life balance (in 23 reviews)

  • great products, empowering women, fun hobby (in 28 reviews)

Cons
  • There is always a push to be full time, even if you started out as part time (in 12 reviews)

  • The dress code is ridiculous and outdated (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Fun to Sell, But Company Makes it Too Hard"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Independent Consultant in Harrisonburg, VA
    Former Freelancer - Independent Consultant in Harrisonburg, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Mary Kay (More than a year)

    Pros

    Product discounts, meeting new people, throwing fun parties.

    Cons

    Having to buy so much inventory, All the added expenses (website fee, to take credit cards, to have direct mailings of catalogues, samples, etc)

    Advice to Management

    If you really want your sales people to succeed, try giving out free catalogues and samples for the reps to use instead of cheap jewelry and swag. 20 catalogues and some mascara samples would have made me a ton more money, not the crappy charm bracelet. The amount of inventory you are encouraged to buy with a Mary Kay Chase card is also setting up your sales people for failure.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Good benefits; not so good management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Addison, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Addison, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Mary Kay full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Product discount is very generous. There's a limit to the amount you can purchase. It must be for personal use.

    Cons

    The company used to be based on Mary Kay's foundation on which she built the company: God first, family second, career third. Unfortunately, since her death the company has become more focused on making money and less about treating employees airily.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Employees Beware"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Manager in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Mary Kay (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Reasonably flexible, nice building. If you don't care too much about your career and can roll with the culture, it's not a bad place to be.

    Cons

    Out of touch and hierarchy-based to the extreme. Job titles are used not to define your place on the org chart but to signify your worth as a person. People are promoted through the ranks for 20+ years from "mail room" roles to senior leadership without proper development, which negatively shapes the culture and vision. And, good luck if you're a contractor... get ready to constantly defend your legal protections and then get pushed out when you refuse to work unpaid overtime, not be amenable to texts at all hours, etc. This is rampant, and some "contractors" have been there for 15 years with significant accountability and "full time" expectations but without benefits, PTO, etc. They may toe the line legally, but it's definitely a dirty way to treat people.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out what you want to be. If you want to evolve into a modern company, change the culture to reflect that. If you want to keep your culture, take a second look at your ambitions.


  4. Helpful (11)

    "Mid- to upper level management (Director)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Director in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Mary Kay full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Has a wonderful history. Pretty building and a sales force that sparkles. Nice pay. Pretty good benefits and there are smart minds trying to make a difference.

    Cons

    Has lost the true understanding and foundation of the culture. It's just words now. No one knows what's going on. Direction is almost non existent. There is little to no communication or unity from the executive level. There are some good VPs and Directors, but also far too many weak VPs and Directors. It's like the leadership of the company doesn't care anymore. The C-suite members don't seem to like each other and have become ineffective. And the product offering needs work. The whole company needs a makeover. So sad. Where this company used to be one to study and learn from, it's now just become another ok company.

    Advice to Management

    Roll up your sleeves and go to work. Really go to work. Set direction, communicate with each other and downward, and figure out real goals and strategy. Don't just tell the ranks to figure it out and report solutions to you. And if you've lost your mojo and just don't care anymore, please step down.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Didn't see ROI"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Mary Kay part-time

    Pros

    - great products
    - learned a lot about skin care and makeup
    - learned some good marketing and sales strategies

    Cons

    - encountered some really nasty ladies, including several Directors who seemed to think they were God's gifts to the universe and that they didn't need to do the same kinds of courtesies they'd expect from consultants.
    - be prepared to work extremely hard, spend a LOT, and not necessarily break even on your investment. AND be told it's just that you didn't work hard enough.

    Advice to Management

    Abide by the golden rule, and support new consultants consistently. Don't show up to events drunk and expect them to cover you.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Culture was very important until the last year or so."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales in Addison, TX
    Current Employee - Sales in Addison, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Mary Kay full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Mary Kay's mission is still valid today. If you work hard as a consultant you can create a career from it.

    Cons

    Current leadership is disappointing. They fight amongst themselves. Too much ego and not enough commitment to the overall good. It really is a shame.


  7. "Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Director
    Former Freelancer - Director
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Mary Kay (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Own boss flexibility free lance

    Cons

    Hard to meet productivity goals

    Advice to Management

    Slow

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Mary Kay Corp. - corporate office"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Addison, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Addison, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Mary Kay full-time

    Pros

    Nice people, great work/life balance, and fun product.

    Cons

    Overlapping roles, vital decisions being made by individuals lacking expertise, upper management disorganized and company performance down.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Make sure you kiss the right butt."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate Employee in Addison, TX
    Current Employee - Corporate Employee in Addison, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Mary Kay full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    As a corporate employee, for the most part, the environment is great. Beautiful building, great employee benefits, product discounts... blah blah blah...

    Cons

    Tick off the wrong person that is dead set on making a name for herself and you will be squashed like a bug and swept into a product closet never to be heard from again. Its amazing how 1 lady trying to climb the corporate ladder can push someone out of good graces by pushing their opinions to others.

    Feel bad for contractors & interns - they have no say what department they get moved too and are LITERALLY told "as a contractor, you have no say" No matter how long said contractors tenure is. "Fake it til you make it" rings true at this company. If you don't like where you are do everything you can to get hired on, once that happens your locked in and astonishingly people that SHOULD NOT STILL BE HERE are and the poor contractors who don't make it... well no matter how long you've been on assignment at MK, they cut you with ZERO NOTICE. I feel bad if some of these contractors that don't make it are single moms or sole providers for their household, MK does NOT care. As they are leaving for the day or weekend expecting to return on Monday... MK calls their agency straight away, like within minutes of their departure and boom their done and no body has forewarned them. Seriously, it does not matter how long a contractor has been here, some as much as 15yrs, when they are finished with you, as a contractor, you cant even come back and get your belongings, they don't even want you back in the building, period . They just cut them.

    Usually if a contractor doesn't "make it" its because they made someone else mad, someone just a step or two above them. Its that simple.

    If you are not part of the "it" crowd it gets very lonely. The whispering around bundles of cubes is deafening. If someone is whispering, they are usually talking about someone close by or complaining. Lots of back-stabbing goes on here for sure.

    Advice to Management

    Not every thing you hear is true. Treat all of your people equally as they ALL contribute not just our beloved employees.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Drama. Petty politics. = Soul crushing experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Mary Kay as a contractor

    Pros

    Beautiful facility, great cafeteria and most of the people there are genuinely nice. Plenty of potential in the creative, marketing department but unfortunately . . .

    Cons

    Coming in as a contractor it's easy to see things objectively and spot the glaring issues which others have chose to ignore. The Creative dept. (International) is a very toxic mix of drama, out-of-control egos, micromanagement, passive aggressive management styles. Senior level of Creative "management" is made up of people who've been there for a very long time. As a result old-school thinking runs rampant over anyone who has new ideas or new ways of doing things. There is no such thing as true leadership in the senior creative ranks. They don't have a clue how to inspire or lead, they merely coast along doing barely competent work that were they placed in a real agency setting they wouldn't last a week. But somehow incompetence is tolerated if you have a long tenure with MK and you're nice to the right people, much like being a government employee. One senior creative "manager" plays the busy card to the extent that she hides in meetings all day and a bottle neck ensues because she is inaccessible. If she happens to work from home or be out the office and you don't respond to an email from her within ten minutes she flips out and things escalate with even more petty passive aggressive drama. Just because you've spent decades at a company doesn't make you a leader, or more creative, or professional for that matter. This only serves to drive out the good people who see how this kind of behavior is coddled and tolerated.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up! The only real hope is to ferret out the long tenured senior creative "managers" and get talent in there that truly knows how to a lead. Not a "manager", but a creative leader who knows how to inspire and get the best work out of the team. Otherwise MK will always be mired in old-school group think by those tenuously hanging on to their positions of power at the expense of more qualified internal and external talent. 360 degree peer reviews would help identify these long tenured offenders. Otherwise good luck with the constant employee attrition and precipitous drop in quality work. The bar can be set so much higher!


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