Oxfam Reviews | Glassdoor

Oxfam Reviews

Updated February 21, 2017
250 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.8
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Oxfam CEO Mark Goldring
Mark Goldring
41 Ratings

250 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • It has a nice work environment and is a great starting job to gain some experience (in 20 reviews)

  • Good ethical employer with excellent work life balance policies (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • senior management are not fit to run a pub let alone a huge charity (in 13 reviews)

  • Manager who is not very respectful of maintaining a work-life balance and stimulates internal competition between staff (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Global organization"

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

    I worked at Oxfam full-time

    Pros

    The people are very smart and passionate; 35 hour work week and flexible working schedule

    Cons

    Playing favorites and general lack of accountability at the top. A lot of talk about diversity (at HQ) but little action. The COO is a bully-- not sure if he is still around.


  2. "Digital Media Strategist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Oxfam (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Enjoyable place to work. Mission is very motivating. Co-wrokers are friendly and senior management care about teams, inter communication and organizational decision processes.

    Cons

    Lots of meetings and many decisions are made by consensus which can take a long time and water down effectiveness of end product.

    Advice to Management

    Have less meetings. Study other organizations that are able to move through decisions more rapid and with less bureaucracy


  3. "Amazing Benefits, US Office Culture Needs Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Oxfam full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are amazing and why I stayed at the organization. Boston office has casual dress code and a 35-hour work week (if people work more, that's their choice. I used to do more, but no one even noticed when I dropped down to regular hours as I work got done). Most teams are flexible when it comes to working from home and office hours.

    Salaried employees have ample time off regardless of vacation policy (i.e. as a salaried union worker, you start at 3 weeks, but given comp time, school days, religious holidays, etc., it's essentially an unlimited vacation policy. DC office/managers get 30 days PTO, but many take much more). Lots of opportunities to attend and present at professional conferences, take external trainings, travel domestically/internationally, etc.

    Cons

    If you're already an expert in the field or the job requires a specific expertise, Oxfam is a great place to do what you love and run with it. However, if you are a generalist or in the first few years of your career, you won't be respected here and constantly fighting the stigma of confusion on what value you can add.

    Pay is decent by nonprofit levels, but overall low and most people could make dramatically more elsewhere. Unless you're one of the experts, it will be difficult to connect to the mission and feel like you are making a difference.

    Most all of the administrative assistant positions (also called Coordinator in the Boston/DC offices) are held by young women, so if you are a young woman, staff tend to treat you like an admin regardless of your expertise or professional position.

    Unless you are hired in at an expert level/position, I wouldn't recommend working here. If you do, stay for a year or two to get the Oxfam name on your resume, then move on.

    Advice to Management

    Project management and managerial skills are missing at multiple levels of the organization, especially for large-scale grants. Let experts focus on their expertise rather than making them managers just because they are knowledgeable in their field. Hire managers and project managers to manage staff, projects, and grants.

    Have staff cross-train and take on increasing responsibilities in their respective roles for professional development rather than just having one-day trainings or online classes.

    A culture of inclusiveness is lacking beyond diversity. Take initiative in calling out each other and staff in a professional way when inappropriate comments or jokes are made. Facilitate meetings by watching interruptions and making sure all voices are heard and individuals don't dominate the discussion.


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  5. "If you're in the right team, it's a dream job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Canvasser in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Canvasser in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Oxfam full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Oxfam is a guilt-free organisation to represent. They do incredible work every day in places most non-profits would never touch. The base pay is solid and they are very understanding when it comes to sick/personal days. If you stay for 60 days the benefits are fantastic. Many people who work with you will be like-minded, caring individuals who want to make a difference which makes for a nice environment. Very easy to get to (DTLA) if you're near a metro.

    Cons

    Structurally, the canvassing system is organized through New Canvassing, and timely payment has been an issue. There also seems to be a numbers-based approach to employment which means a sometimes harsh view on canvassers who aren't performing. Bonuses are relatively low considering how difficult it can be to achieve the milestones they set.

    Advice to Management

    Have a more rigorous hiring process and bring in people who can connect with others in a meaningful way. If employees aren't performing, try to work more caringly with them to structure a plan so they can get back to their best.


  6. "A job that matters."

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

    I worked at Oxfam full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The collective project - The people - The vision. The future.

    Cons

    Complex - Bureaucratic - Uncertain - Intellectual - Arrogant (sometimes)


  7. "Positive and Professional Environment"

    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

    Supportive and professional place to work. Great benefits, flexibility and plenty of opportunities for staff development.

    Cons

    Despite substantial benefits and a strong appreciation for work/life balance, compensation trends toward the lower end of the spectrum when compared with similar organizations.

    Advice to Management

    Tighten up internal systems to improve efficiency and use these savings to retain staff.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "oxscam"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Oxfam (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Very few: The organization has--or had--a good mission. There are many decent people who work for it.

    Cons

    It is bureaucratic, top-heavy with management, intellectually shabby, wasteful of its donors' money while paying its employees below-market salaries. It has embarked on a foolish reorganization.

    Advice to Management

    Live up to Oxfam's rhetoric of human rights and worker rights. Foxconn and Walmart have a more honest approach to workers' rights.


  9. "Senior Advisor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Advisor in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Advisor in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Oxfam (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The people are brilliant, analytical, compassionate, and dedicated. The agency is thoughtful, strategic, bold, and well-intentioned. Few organizations do such high-quality work in such diverse areas, from field-level humanitarian response, to global policy expert advocacy, to popular campaigning. The culture is disciplined enough to create strategic plans and follow through on them, even if some risk or consequences.

    Cons

    There is tension between the high-level big picture planning vs. the on-the-ground work with specific communities, projects, and campaigns. The high-level focus on chasing the brightest ideas and trends leads to frequent change in strategic goals and plans, and a sense of continual flux for workers and their projects. Keeping up with internal structures and required processes is draining and distracting from getting work done.

    Advice to Management

    Remember to value on-the-ground work, and not just the quickest thinkers in planning sessions. Keep in mind that work happens at the rate of people and relationships, not at the rate of ideas and debates in planning sessions.


  10. "Great Place to Work"

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

    Pros

    Fantastic people who are friendly and knowledgeable in their field of work.

    Cons

    Restructuring program was not fully explained, so it has caused some anxiety among staff

    Advice to Management

    Expand the internship program to allow employees to get a feel for training and management for upward mobility, and give students a look into the work environment


  11. "Research Assistant"

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

    Pros

    Great environment, diver teams. The intern has great opportunity to participate in the core events.

    Cons

    People here sometimes are too idealism and assertive.



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