Refinery29 Employee Reviews about "management"
44% would recommend to a friend
(63 total reviews)
Philippe von Borries
38% approve of CEO
Found 63 of over 269 reviews
Updated Oct 23, 2023
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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
Excerpts from user reviews, not authored by Glassdoor
- "The people are creative and young" (in 27 reviews)
- "Amazing team to work with!" (in 12 reviews)
- "some of your coworkers are cool but they are probably not super friendly to you unless you are both the same level of peon" (in 10 reviews)
- "Beautiful office" (in 6 reviews)
- "Very healthy work environment, I have yet to encounter nastiness, back stabbing, aggression" (in 4 reviews)
- "'Managers' with zero management experience." (in 15 reviews)
- "NO work life balance; unsustainable and will burn you out." (in 12 reviews)
- "low pay not in line with the industry or people's experience" (in 8 reviews)
- "Upper management is ignorant of the fact that employees have no work" (in 8 reviews)
- "Hours are long and personnel is under appreciated." (in 8 reviews)
Ratings by Demographics
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Reviews about "management"Return to all Reviews
- 1.0Mar 18, 2018WriterCurrent Employee, more than 1 yearNew York, NY
- The people you directly work with everyday are some of the most inspiring and talented. - Being able to work on stuff you care about.
Where to begin? This company has steadily gone downhill in the two years I’ve been there: - The place has been hemorrhaging money, so now they’re trying to fix the situation by cutting everything from snacks and other office perks to refusing to hand out even a 5% raise. - The salaries are a joke. Influencers are paid a ton, while low-level staffers are paid peanuts. This is a place that launches campaigns encouraging women to negotiate their salaries and ask for a raise, but then tell you they can’t give you one. And the pay disparity between people in the *same role* can go as high as $17K. So much for “equal pay for equal work.” - The lack of communication is part of the culture. You’ll find out about projects, deadlines and other important stuff at the very last minute because no one bothers to communicate between departments. It’s ridiculous. - This place is peak white feminism™. While there’s obviously about 95% women in management and low-level roles, most of them are white and privileged. Which means they’re severe gaps in the way the content, messaging and other things are managed. Launching a thing like Unbothered (which was an idea of the Black women at lower levels, not management) is a step in the right direction. But what about hiring more people of different ethnic, racial, religious backgrounds? Lots of talk about how “radical inclusivity” is part of the company’s values, but it is not put into practice.29
- 3.0Jul 16, 2016Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee, more than 3 years
co-workers —some of the best you'll ever have. progressive, future-oriented company great mission (though they don't always practice what they preach) office you want to spend time at Senior management is trying to make it a better place to work and address problems.
Rapid turnover No institutional knowledge Some people are paid so badly, it's heartbreaking. Especially when they're working 50-60 hours a week and very good at their job. Everyone is fighting for power and a lot of of people are collateral damage. Young and inexperienced managers who are not secure enough in their positions to support their reports. Management can't resist shiny new hires. It can leave you constantly paranoid that you're being cut out and fosters a toxic environment. There's some great stories being done but ultimately it's a content farm with clickbait headlines People who've been promoted too quickly and have no idea what they're doing. Hype machine, godspeed if you question it8
- 4.0Jun 13, 2019People ManagerCurrent Employee, more than 1 yearNew York, NY
The mission of this company is one that runs so deep and I have never experienced before. I feel like I have a true ability to influence the lives of young women everywhere through a message of empowerment. Not many other companies can say the same.
Management needs to be work on their leadership skills and spend time truly understanding what it takes to lead a ship during choppy times.1
- 2.0Sep 8, 2014Anonymous EmployeeCurrent Employee, more than 1 year
The employees are mostly all young 20-somethings eager to make something of themselves. They are smart, innovative, and inspire you to be better and think out of the box. They know how to produce quality content and sell their brand...though they are getting rather mainstream and losing their loyal followers as they become clickbait. You get free bagels on Friday and free food at quarterly company parties and when there is surplus after executive meetings.
They throw superficial things at you to distract you from the fact that the pay is abysmal. They function on the hopes/dreams/and digital rainbows of their young employees who desperately want to be a part of this 'cool' brand. Besides having no work/life balance, upper management is seriously lacking. This is because the founders are delusional and have no respect for their employees. Upper management makes you promises of promotion or bonuses so you work harder and accomplish their goals. But the minute you either accomplish it or it doesn't work out like they expect, they go back on their promises...or even let you go. They dangle the proverbial carrot above your head and watch you jump like a rabbit, only to let you starve in the end. They sell you a dream and say they have your back if you promise to have theirs, but are quick to make hasty 'pivots' without telling you, leaving you in the dark so that you can take the blame. They so desperately want to be 'cool' that they overlook loyal, talented hard workers for people with good style, overt personalities, and social connections. Management rules out of fear but it's apparentManagement rules out of fear but it's apparentManagement rules out of fear but it's apparent to everyone on staff that some of them are just insecure. In a nut shell, morale is extremely low, since everyone is overworked and underpaid. HR is nonexistent. I've seen so many colleagues either quit or were let go who deserve so, so, so much better. One of the executives have a saying: It's not a day at Refinery without someone crying...8
- 4.0Jul 5, 2016Anonymous EmployeeCurrent Employee
The people are hard-working, fierce and smart. The social environment is stimulating, and you can learn a lot if you're in a junior position.
The compensation could be better, and the work/life balance is not always the best. Management seems to be hearing this and working on improving though.
- 2.0Apr 30, 2019Brand Partnerships/RevenueFormer Employee, more than 3 yearsNew York, NY
there's a huge opportunity to learn more about things that are outside your job function. i learned more about brand advertising here in my first 6 months than in the 3+ years prior.
upper management has legitimately no idea what's going on or where to take the company and there is a huge brain drain taking place. i am legitimately shocked that they are still in business.6
- 4.0Mar 30, 2014Anonymous EmployeeCurrent EmployeeNew York, NY
Company culture and employees all believe in the brand message and this is infused into the office vibe and day-to-day. Great company to have on your resume that is rapidly growing in headcount and a place to jumpstart career.
Not the most competitive pay but there is opportunity to move up faster than a more corporate environment. Upper management is tasked with the rapid growth goals and may not recognize the hard work that employees have devoted.
- 1.0Jul 22, 2016AnonymousFormer Employee, more than 1 yearNew York, NY
- Some great people - Forward thinking
- Overall, it's a high school popularity contest - The most incompetent managers are hired. My manager was probably hired because she knew 'the lingo' and the founders thought she was legit. - The majority of the managers lead by intimidation - Some of the people that are promoted into management positions are unqualified and inexperienced. I'm sure if these new managers were to leave R29, they'd be knocked back into their jr level roles. - Benefits are 'meh' and not much time off. - Pay is not equal across the board - some people were breaking their backs making peanuts while others are grossly overpaid to just 'hang out and talk the talk'.11
- 1.0Feb 13, 2015Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee, more than 1 yearNew York, NY
Coworkers are the best thing about this place. Aside from a few with inflated titles, most are passionate, talented and driven. Sadly if you stay long enough, you see the passion drain from people by overwork, underpay, and R29's weird refusal to let people have actual time off. The fact that employees oftne leave with no job lined up is a mark of the desperation and burnout here. Morale is really low.
1. Below-market pay for above-market workload. Traffic/production goals are huge and always getting huger. Consistently exceeding goals is no guarantee of a raise or better title. R29 hires 'name' employees and more management.....yet won't spare a small cost of living increase for employyees with a track record of performance. 2. Working nights, weekends and holidays is not the exception -- its regularly expected of every non-Senior employee. Award show, breaking news, celeb death on Sunday night? You'll be up til 2 a.m. putting together a 30-page slideshow, then dragging yourself into work bright and early Monday. Ive worked other places where managers insist on comp time in these situations. Here, no one advocates for you. Ask for comp time and you hear crickets. 3. Your vacation and sick days are meaningless. Yes, you technically have PTO. But your still expected to produce the same # of stories whether you're in-office or not. So you work from your hotel on vacation while your friends are at the beach. You work when you're sick. Your told to work while spending Christmas with your family because 'you'll have wifi, right?' Sometimes, you're just told you 'can't' take time off. It's treated like no big deal, like of course you owe the company all your time. the stress takes its toll. Morale is lower here than anywhere else Ive ever worked. 4. Management does shady things: people are promised raises that arent delivered. Or you're promised an internal promotion, then they hire from outside. Other top-level employees are just plain toxic. I've heard coworkers have their diet, posture, clothes or the way they walk criticized to their face. Or you're lavished with praise for your work yet called 'entitled' when you ask for a raise. Or you're given the silent treatment for accepting a better job offer. There's an instability here that's really nervewracking to be around. The reviewer who describer it as 'like working in Mommie Dearest' nailed it. 5. Cynical company culture. Meetings are filled with pep talks about how R29 employees are what make it great. But R29 makes no effort to solve the overwork--burnout issues mentioned in almost every review here. Instead, incredibly enthusiastic 4/5-star reviews start popping up. The fact that r29 would rather whitewash its rep than change its exploitative culture is more than disappointing, it actually hurts, because most of us used to really believe in this brand. Its hurtful to be taken advantage of by something you used to love. Bottom line: R29 prioritizes traffic over employees sanity. Young employees don't realize how exploitative it is. Older more experienced ones get out as soon as they can (one said it was 'like a government experiment'). R29's methods for producing traffic is not sustainable, and brain drain will continue unless they invest honestly in their people.30