Refinery29 Reviews | Glassdoor

Refinery29 Reviews

Updated September 15, 2017
96 reviews

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3.1
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Philippe von Borries
56 Ratings

96 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • awesome learning experience since the company is growing through tremendous growth (in 5 reviews)

  • Very healthy work environment, I have yet to encounter nastiness, back stabbing, aggression (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • The compensation could be better, and the work/life balance is not always the best (in 15 reviews)

  • Little to no work/life balance, management can seem non-supportive (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (4)

    "Mission driven and inspiring place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Refinery29 full-time

    Pros

    It's a treat to work with so many passionate, creative and smart people. R29 is growing fast and reaching so many people globally, but still retains the startup spirit where people can dream big and then see those dreams come to life. We work VERY hard - no way around that - but it's nice to know that the hard work goes towards a mission that as a millennial women myself, I care deeply about. I came to R29 as a fan of the brand, the work they do, and everything they stand for, and I can say honestly that the leaders of the company are committed to making a difference and championing women.

    Cons

    The entrepreneurial spirit means there's a huge appetite for growth and scale, which sometimes can mean high expectations and overload of work. As we grow, there's still a lot of experimentation and trial and error on projects, formats, and processes, which can be frustrating at times. I think the company should focus on doing less but doing it better - but obviously there will be growing pains no matter what.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on the greater goals and keep reminding the company of what we're striving for. When we all work this hard, we need to feel like it's more than just for a dollar sign. AND think about strategy up front - before you make changes or new decisions. It can be frustrating when new ideas or projects are mandated by upper management and then the lower staff is forced to figure out how to make it work, without having a say in the decision in the first place.


  2. "Pretty cool place, for a millenial woman"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Refinery29 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great location in New York, exposure to fashion, food, and fun! Body positivity and "take back the beach" for women of all shapes, are great ideas.

    Cons

    Almost all of the employees are millenial women. That's great, maybe, if you are millenial woman. Maybe not so great for other kinds of people.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Passionate company with cofoundres that genuinely believe in the mission but ineptly failing to scale and grow up"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Many people in the company are passionate for what the company does and stand for. Even more so when it comes to the cofounders. They are all deeply caring the mission for women. Not some false pretense under guise to draw people.

    Company has incredibly strong brand that resonate with certain demographics and it is one of the hardest, if not the hardest thing to achieve in media industry.

    Cons

    Company is failing to scale and grow up healthily. In fact, its stagnant and hurting tremendously. This is leading to talent drain of capable people on middle management level. Which leaves less capable managers in the middle level therefore further negatively affecting non-managers. Its a vicious cycle.

    Majority of this stems from poor upper management on executive level. There have been a number of executive changes but more changes are needed. Especially true for cofounders. That said, its hard to hold anything against them because these are caring folks who spent almost of all career as entrepreneur and building a 100 million dollar business. They didn't spend decade jumping through corporate world going from company to company learning how things work at scale and what's effective or not for certain situations.

    Cofounders are doing what they believe is the best. But their best unfortunately is not good enough because they aren't growing fast enough to keep up with growth of the company and what it is demanded of executive level at 100 million dollar companies. Cofounders need to consider what Google did at certain stage with Eric Schmidt. Hiring an experienced CEO to run the business while cofounders release operational duties to focus more on what they are exceptionally good at. Being brand visionary, champion of women's causes, coming up with creative experiments. After certain time when cofounders have matured further with executive skills and experience, return to take the helm. Just like Google.

    Advice to Management

    Consider hiring CEO or COO to run the company while cofounders return to focus on what they are exceptionally good at and learn from the industry tested CEO or COO whom they can learn from.


  4. "Cool company, stuck in Start-up mentality"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Coordinator in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Account Coordinator in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great snacks, cool office, nice people. You really can learn a lot from working here. It's very fast paced and has an awesome company-wide goal/message.

    Cons

    Seems to be going backwards in terms of growth and structure. Not really sure what space they're trying to enter, publishing, tv, etc. Once that is decided this company could do some big things!

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within more often, provide training for both entry level and management level employees. Keep staying true to your original goal/message


  5. "The best people to work with"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Refinery29 full-time

    Pros

    Amazing coworker, lots of talent, fun events, creative work, education, sabbatical

    Cons

    low pay, slow movement, low vacation days


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Sad times at R29."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Your team is your family.
    From the outside it looks like the coolest company ever.

    Cons

    The executive team. Very few of them have any real experience outside of R29 and that's a real issue. Every few months they hire new people that are expected to fix everything.

    Advice to Management

    Hire experienced people from other media companies. There are some happy departments perhaps the executive should try and learn from the.


  7. "Make it what you need"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    THE PEOPLE are the best thing about this company

    Cons

    The Exec team wants to do too much

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Game of Thrones"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The base level employees are all trying their best.

    Cons

    Department heads are all set out to serve their own agendas. There is no sense of collaboration between departments to work together towards an overall company goal. There is complete disregard for procedures and policy.

    Advice to Management

    You're not going to get to where you want to be by paying your friends to be your friends.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "The right place if you want to learn how not to build software"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great pay, little effort required.

    Cons

    The company has gotten used to a very slow moving software engineering department, and people think that's the way it should be done. However, it isn't. People slack, and it's ok, because managers slack, too. Most engineers have insufficient experience, and get promoted only so they don't seek jobs elsewhere, or because they have stuck around long enough. Few people would be able to find a job with the same title and role in a real tech company.

    Sticking around longer is definitely harming to one's career.

    Advice to Management

    If the right people were hired, the job could get done with 1/3 of the people you have.


  10. "Background"

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

    I worked at Refinery29 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You can receive great experiences working at Refinery29.

    Cons

    There are no standard policies and procedures in place.


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