Pew Charitable Trusts Reviews in Washington, DC | Glassdoor

Pew Charitable Trusts Washington Reviews

Updated March 28, 2017
103 reviews

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Washington, DC

2.5
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Pew Charitable Trusts President and CEO Rebecca W. Rimel
Rebecca W. Rimel
67 Ratings

103 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • This is a place that values work/life balance (in 33 reviews)

  • Smart people and great benefits (in 35 reviews)

Cons
  • Senior management continues to micro-manage activities, despite our size (in 15 reviews)

  • It is a culture of fear in which people are scared to do or try anything (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good but slow"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Contractor - Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Professional work environment, and good people. Overall, everyone is trying to make the world a better place, which helps in getting along with people.

    Cons

    Be careful of losing your place or having expectations broken because the organization decided to change directions. What's true today may not hold tomorrow.


  2. Helpful (14)

    "Not worth it despite benefits. Rampant mental abuse, discrimination, disregard for the "little guys""

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I got hired pretty much right out of college so it was a very reputable position to be in. I was excited to be part of such a prestigious organization with a great mission. They cover important issues and I truly believe that at the end of the day, they are making a positive difference in the world.

    Many of the pluses highlighted in the other reviews are true. Relative to peer organizations, the pay and total compensation package is better than average. The office space is gorgeous - white marble floors, steel fixtures, glass doors (HA! gets ironic quick). Amazing location, close to everything downtown DC has to offer. Many, if not all staff are some of the most intelligent people I've ever met and are very accomplished in their fields.

    Cons

    I've left PCT for over a year, and it's taken me this long to come to terms with the gripes I had with the work situation myself and many other colleagues were in. I think it really is a roll of the dice on which manager you're assigned to as well as the team environment of your particular department. Mine was nightmare-ish.

    In the beginning, I was a bumbling young professional, eager to please and advance and eventually make a real difference in the world. The team that I was hired onto had just been built so it was growing rapidly. I was assigned to a Sr. Director who was a very benevolent boss and pushed me beyond the duties of just a personal assistant, challenging me to explore different areas of work to find what I really wanted to do. Since the team was only in fragments when I arrived, I was handling many projects at once. I loved it. I did research, created content, and was even often asked of my opinion when we needed to solve a problem.

    It started to go downhill when I was confronted with working with someone (non-management position) who had a reputation of being difficult. This person made me stay late,
    a lowly personal assistant (like asking me to get them lunch or coffee because they were "too busy" - my Sr. Director never even did this, and even if he did, he's way higher up and I wouldn't mind) never gave me positive feedback, in fact, they blatantly talked down to me and generally stressed me out constantly (once, I refused to do something lowly and they threw the conference phone at me). But because I loved my work and didn't want to complain, it went on for months until my benevolent higher ups actually noticed and pulled me aside to ask if everything was okay. I was honest with them and told them exactly how I was being treated. They said that I wouldn't have to work with this person anymore. This person got "reprimanded" aka just a slap on the wrist and a stern talking-to. At this point, there had been dozens, and I mean 50+ new staff on our new team.

    I was then put under a new manager with seemingly no management experience whatsoever. I don't know how I rubbed this new manager wrong, but (over a long period of time) not only did they start working closely with THE PERSON WHO WAS MENTALLY ABUSING ME, but eventually completely stopped talking to me. Let me reiterate. My direct report stopped TALKING to me. I knew that this new manager was somewhat socially awkward, but I have never seen a lack of leadership or support in my life. They excluded me from every meeting, every phone call, every project task and conversation they had. They would avoid me at work, coming in almost 3 hours after I got there, and basically just ignoring me as much as possible for the rest of the day. At one point, they made me move my computer to a conference room to "monitor" our 3rd party vendors, meaning no one saw me for 2 months and I had no idea why I was there. My work basically got slowly taken away from me as new people got hired and eventually I was only scheduling meetings and putting together work parties. I really didn't know who I was or what my purpose was anymore.

    Clearly at this place, is truly better to be hated than ignored - the person who treated my horribly eventually got promoted despite everyone in the office disliking them. I had been worn down to a point where my manager basically decided to phase me out slowly, and I couldn't do anything about it because it showed that I was not making a contribution anymore, but it wasn't because I didn't want to, it was because of all of the situations I was put in by people who were supposed to mentor me.

    And I know I'm not the only one. I had many co-workers who were entry level or Associates that were mentally and verbally harassed on a daily basis. On my exit interview with HR, I never even bothered mentioning anything that happened because I knew that the complaints from my other co-workers were brushed off and sometimes they actually got in trouble for speaking up. After I left Pew, I seriously considered never going back to a corporate work environment because of just how traumatized and lost in life I felt. I was actually depressed for a long time, but I'm much happier doing something completely different now, so I finally felt ready to say something. Please stay far, far away.

    Advice to Management

    I know you're not blind to what's happening. I really don't care anymore, but no one should go through what I went through.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Fantastic colleagues, soul-crushing bureaucracy"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is a well-respected organization with a great reputation and ability to drive policy conversations. Colleagues are very bright and motivated. Benefits are very good.

    Cons

    Inefficient processes are very demoralizing and turnover is high. There is a lot of fear-driven decision-making in some departments. Advancement is slow, so candidates should not accept lower-level positions with hopes of advancing quickly.


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  5. "Great work/life balance, meaningful work"

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

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Pew really cares about its employees having a work/life balance. The work Pew does is interesting and meaningful. Great benefits.

    Cons

    So many programs, hard to become an expert in each. Teams, programs are very wonky. Lots of steps in the approval processes.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "Non-encouraging"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Decent benefits, work with some super talented individuals

    Cons

    Very little to no growth opportunities, will hire outside before inside. There are a lot of rules and procedures and due to this upper management just goes along with it and doesn't question anything even if its causing inefficiency or disrupt.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Not great ... but not for the reasons you might expect"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    * Very organized, focused environment
    * Clear procedures and forms for every eventuality
    * Emphasis on reputation management helps protect the Pew image
    * Reasonably competitive pay and benefits
    * Good work-life benefits
    * Opportunities to travel
    * Beautiful office space with free coffee

    Cons

    * Some middle and upper managers are extremely negative and discouraging
    * Micro-management is rampant
    * More time is spent in meetings than actually accomplishing anything... there would be pre-meetings, meetings, post-meetings... it was excessive

    Advice to Management

    Turnover at Pew is incredibly high, and despite the rumors, it's not because of Pew's bureaucracy. Personally, I loved the clear procedures and organizational policies, and was happy to "pay" for this with some extra bureaucracy. But the way staff are treated by upper management is just shameful. My direct manager was great, but his boss, and his boss' boss, seemed intent on intimidating some staff. Members of my team were constantly stressed out and on eggshells because of this. I didn't realize how terrible it was until I started my new job and realized that people can be cordial at work on a regular basis.

    If you want Pew to succeed long-term, you need to remove these problem managers from the ranks.


  8. "Administrative Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Beautiful space, great holiday and summer parties, work-life balance is great and work is fulfulling often.

    Cons

    Room for advancement is slight for administrative staff, unfortunately.


  9. "Politcal"

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

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits are Amazing Very Good HR

    Cons

    Political Environment but does good things for the world


  10. Helpful (4)

    "If you're in Sr. Management its a great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Manager in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Good work/life balance
    GREAT co-workers doing GREAT work

    Cons

    zero flexibility on most everything
    they've convinced themselves that they offer career growth, but nothing could be further from the truth
    two sets of rules: one for Senior Leadership, one for everybody else

    Advice to Management

    if you want to fix your retention problem or your reputation on here, change as an organization rather than expecting everyone else to be more compliant and appreciative.


  11. Helpful (5)

    "Snr. Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Free but not so great health insurance.
    -Nice building.
    -Vacation time off.

    Cons

    -Micromanagement.
    -Culture of fear.
    -You will not move up.
    -I got promoted and my salary went up 2%. A new person got hire for the same job and make $10K more. After consulting HR for a pay scale, got told (quote) "unfortunately, a new hire will a better offer, that's how the system is setup".
    -High turnover. So bad that we had 3 different SVP's in less than than 3 years. This company hire at least 25 employees per month but, at the same time, around 20 employees leave every month.
    -HR department do more damage to the employee than help.
    -Minorities only occupy lower level positions. I only know of 3 managers that can be part of a minority. No higher than that.
    -Non profit ? Really? Someone should look in to that.

    Advice to Management

    Start changing your values at the top. Continue with a new HR department and listen your employees.


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