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What people are saying about Refinery29
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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
This rating reflects the overall rating of Refinery29 and is not affected by filters.
Reviews about "pay"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
- 3.0Oct 8, 2018Freelance VideographerFormer Freelancer, less than 1 yearNew York, NY
Bright working space, perks are great, such as free stuff, food, make up and parties.
Schedules were not really set. No overtime pay for the extra time you work if it is during the week. Very stressful working place.
- 1.0Oct 25, 2018Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee, more than 3 yearsNew York, NY
Health benefits are expensive, but good. Very cute office dogs. Some fun events from time to time. The non for profits they support are pretty great, you’ll have opportunities to support good causes and get your feet wet with actual activism (although some of their activism efforts are admittedly a tad tone deaf).
Okay. So. Prepare for layoffs. Every year, they gut departments. Every.single.year. The fear is real when October rolls around. When budgets stop, lunches are cancelled, education budgets squashed, you KNOW that layoffs are coming. Doesn’t matter if they just opened yet another office in another city. Winter is coming. There is NO job security and while they tell you every four years you’ll get a month paid sabbatical, know that you probably won’t last long enough to see that sabbatical. Favorites are promoted to manager positions with NO experience or mentorship. Therefore many managers are stunningly inept, but there’s no one to guide them to help them do better so it’s not even their fault. Upper bosses come and go so often you’ll never have the chance to build a good working relationship with any of them. Departments are re-organized on the regular, leading to confusion. Meanwhile other workers who deserve upward mobility are never promoted due to favoritism running the show. Positions change willy nilly. Example: I was hired to be a manager, then when the manager I was going to replace quit (all part of the plan), the position was suddenly axed. I then was required to prove to junior level people why I deserve to have a senior title by still doing manager duties despite having no managerial authority (who wants to feel bossed around by a non boss, thanks for creating an awkward and frustrating work environment for no reason!) and that title NEVER CAME. Months rolled into a couple of years, no title DESPITE having twenty years of experience. I put up with it because the mismanagement was not actually in my immediate coworker’s control, and their hard working, kind attitudes made up for a lot of the problems. In short, we all made it work because at the end of the day we cared about the actual product. Otherwise, why even show up every day? But that added stress was idiotic and unnecessary and just more proof of inept managers. There’s also a reason why there are so few people here over the age of 35. In the entire company. Ageism is rampant here. The focus on millennials is almost pathological. Upper mgmt either does not understand they need senior people (because most of them aren’t actually senior either, pro-tip a handful of years of experience shouldn’t make someone a dept head or a director FACE PALM) or they just don’t want to pay the salaries for experienced staff. Maybe both. Managers now have no idea they’re making huge blunders because there’s no one with the experience to actually tell them they’re messing up. So how in the world can other junior staff expect to be better when their own managers are clueless and left that way? People in their 30s, 40s, & beyond aren’t a disease. We have insight & experience and know how to mentor junior staff. It’s like upper mgmt is playing house and this is just a silly game. Yet another round of layoffs decimating the technology department is a prime example of “we don’t know what we’re doing.” Young people playing at manager roles hired their own executioner, completely unawares. Expect more layoffs. That ticket has been punched. And expect managers to save their friend’s jobs over yours for no other reason than they like their friend. R29 is a snake eating its own tail. They don’t follow their own inclusive spin with the lack of POC upper managers and the lack of older women. If R29 cares so much about women they why don’t they hire more POC managers & older women they why don’t they hire more POC managers & older women they why don’t they hire more POC managers & older women and then pay their staff accordingly? Stop the high turnover. Treat people better. So if you ultimately decide to work here, use R29 for the experience, make connections with the good people here (there are stand up people here, despite the toxicity) and then get out. Use R29 the way it uses their empoyees, suck it dry for knowledge and leave, before they suck you dry. Do NOT work here for the pay or job security. Know what you’re getting in to, and do not wear the R29 cheerleader blinders or you WILL get blindsided.45
- 1.0Mar 3, 2021Anonymous ContractorFormer Contractor, more than 1 yearNew York, NY
the work is easy can work from home the people are not that bad...could be worse LOL
the work is mindless and not creative at all which would be ok if the pay was decent they pay far below agency/brand standards if you're a POC, avoid working here if you can -- there are way too many white feminists who will try to seem 'woke' but are clueless. it's cringey to watch and very uncomfortable to be around.
- 4.0Nov 5, 2016Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee
Awesome culture and support. Probably the best place I've ever worked. Everyone is super supportive and encouraging.
Not tons of growth so once you're in a position, you'll likely get a title change with each year, but probably not more responsibility. Low pay as well.
- 2.0Apr 5, 2017Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee
-Some of the best people I've ever worked with -Free snacks -Bagel Fridays -Good healthcare, pto, maternity/paternity leave
-Extreme favoritism -inexperienced upper management -unclear path to next level in career path -poor communication -lack of transparency -titles are handed to some and not given to other -low pay not in line with the industry or people's experience -lack of appreciation for employees in certain departments3
- 4.0Apr 5, 2021Senior Independent ContributiorFormer Employee
Creative environment, interesting work, felt cool to have a “cool” job
Pay could honestly be better
- 3.0Jun 19, 2018Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee
+ I loved my team + Pay was good + The content you work on is decent
- The company was largely incompetent and disorganized - Regular lay-offs (don't expect to stay more than a year)