Save the Children Reviews | Glassdoor

Save the Children Reviews

Updated June 14, 2017
19 reviews

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Save the Children President & CEO Carolyn Miles
Carolyn Miles
1 Rating

19 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Employee friendly work environment and good team members (in 15 reviews)

  • work life balance is well maintained (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • takes advantage of those lowest on the totem pole (temps /new hires), lots of upper management (in 8 reviews)

  • Can be a lot of pressure from senior management to meet targets (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Great Cause Suffering at Hands of Irresponsible Leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Fairfield, CT
    Former Employee - Director in Fairfield, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Save the Children full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Incredible mission, many talented professionals.

    Cons

    Leadership/Management. CEO simply cannot make decisions, leading to high turnover among middle and upper management, leading to unstable work conditions and unhappy staff. CIO, CMO, CHRO, VP fundraising, VP digital, VP HR have all defected in past six months. Revenue has been on a slow decline for many years leading to re-orgs/re-structures/layoffs.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to board is to execute a rescue, starting with sweeping reform at executive level then down.

    Save the Children Response

    Jul 17, 2017 – Director, Talent Acquisition

    Thanks for your feedback. Have you had a chat with your HR Business Advisor to share your concerns? We'd love to know more about your observations regarding the instability and morale that you... More


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Finance Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager, Donor Reporting & Financial Analyst in Fairfield, CT
    Former Employee - Manager, Donor Reporting & Financial Analyst in Fairfield, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Save the Children (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, help the kids around the world.

    Cons

    Bad work environment. A lot of politics.

    Advice to Management

    Give employee more authority.

  3. Helpful (6)

    "toxic environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    Pros

    the only pro is the mission of the organization.

    Cons

    toxic environment - abusive. Unfriendly people. Mean-spirited. Don't be fooled by the mission. The onboarding process was a joke. As was the exit process. The culture was not one in which I wanted to be a part of no matter what the benefits.

    Advice to Management

    Get new leadership.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Bittersweet..."

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

    I worked at Save the Children (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great staff at headquarters and on the field. Decent higher-level of senior leadership with brilliant retirees from USAID.

    Cons

    Incompetent and complacent HR staff with no accountability of managers whatsoever. Bullying prone atmosphere. One irremovable lower level staff of senior leadership doesn't have a clue on how to manage a team. You definitely need to be lucky and pick the right supervisor !

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your staff and consider their advices, to start with and try to make managers more accountable.


  5. Helpful (10)

    "Specialist-level program staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Save the Children full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Senior management is very accessible and friendly. They will always say hi when they pass you in the hallway and strike up conversations just to hear your thoughts, how you're doing, etc. I've never worked anywhere that had such accessible senior management staff. Work-life balance is fairly decent, depending on the department you're in. Most of the staff are very nice, especially IT, benefits, HR.

    Cons

    Too many to list. Basically, don't work here, at least not now or for the next 5-10 years. The old boys club still exists at the middle level of management and they protect each other at all costs, at great expense to those at the support level who actually do the work. No one can tell what these managers actually do; looks like nothing. It might be better when these people retire in 5-10 years, but I'd doubt it. Misogyny and ageism abound. If you're a younger woman just be prepared to be treated like crap and like a moron from your superiors, meanwhile your male counterparts can basically do nothing and get away with it. Forget about promotions; unless you're in upper level management it's not possible. There's no transparency to the process. The organization actively works to try to cut your salary at great effort and any time someone leaves and the job is reposted it's always at a lower level for less pay. There's no upward mobility. Except for a handful of nice people, the environment is toxic. You're encouraged to act like you're in middle school and talk behind each other's backs. Just don't come here, seriously. It's not worth it. I'm getting out of here as soon as I can.

    Advice to Management

    Fire everyone at the Director, Senior Director, or department head level. I'm not joking. This is where the bulk of the toxicity of this organization lies, and until you get rid of them, it's not going to get better. I've not seen one of these people treat their teams with respect and it reflects terribly on senior management, and I think that senior management in general does a good job. Just stop the old boys club.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Run, don't walk! Toxic, disorganized, dysfunctional environment. Angry culture."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Director in Fairfield, CT
    Current Employee - Senior Director in Fairfield, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Save the Children (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Time off benefits. The mission. The folks developing and running programs for children are best in class. Truly outstanding.

    The CEO is nice and very funny.

    Some colleagues, although this is sadly changing. "Like attracts like" and the culture is shifting due to hard-core, mean consultant type machines that really don't get it. They speak in jargon to impress themselves and each other, so good luck understanding what you are supposed to be doing.

    Cons

    Good luck taking the time off. You will be hounded on weekends, vacations, and evenings.

    Unbelievably high turnover. Like your boss? If they are good and smart, they will walk. If not, band together and overthrow them - mature, right?

    Ultimately, Save the Children is an under resourced pressure cooker.

    There are also development and program professionals who literally do no work and barely show up as they are "working from home". Nothing happens to them. Guess who picks up the slack. You do!

    I can only speak to the headquarters in Fairfield, CT (the other is in DC). It's in the middle of nowhere and on the border of one of the nation's most dangerous cities. It's a tricky commute by train or car.

    Advice to Management

    Read the above. Think about work life balance and make the environment more realistic and pleasant.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great mission, terrible management!"

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

    I worked at Save the Children full-time

    Pros

    Most employees are there to support the mission and are very nice people to work with.

    Cons

    - Little to no upward movement for most people
    - People are not put into positions according to their skill sets and experience, but on a popularity or seniority basis
    - HR works for management and doesn't listen to employees
    - So anxious to fill some upper management positions, HR/VPs don't properly vet candidates

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees when they tell you there is a problem. Don't wait and let 1-3 individuals decimate and entire department.

  8. Helpful (9)

    "Save Yourself the Trouble"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Save the Children full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Wanting to be a part of something that helps children worldwide is a good thing and there are some people who work here that truly do have that calling. Unfortunately, I did not get a sense that all donor dollars where used to benefit children.

    Cons

    Constant layoffs and reorganizations; everyone feels stressed out about what might happen next; constant problems with computer systems that never seem to get fixed; unrealistic business objectives and goals that are constantly changing; poor upper management leadership/decisions; too many high paid managers who would be considered totally incompetent in the for-profit world yet are kept on the payroll for years; endless hours of unproductive meetings; very political environment - its who you know rather than your job performance; a few do most of the work at very little pay; some can job hop/work from home while others cannot; they make a big deal out of their performance review process but don't back it up with any training or advancement options-its really meaningless paperwork.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Save yourself the aggravation"

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

    I worked at Save the Children (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    'intelligent co-workers who are for the most part friendly

    Cons

    -poor top management decision-making, constant changing of strategy
    -too many unproductive meetings
    -very political, its who you know rather than your job performance
    -low pay which is the norm but some make good salaries here for many years and do not produce while others have -heavy workload which is never questioned
    -some have 'work from home' privileges but others do not making it very unfair
    -questionable account practices and use of 'preferred' vendor's who overcharged but is it overlooked because theyhave an 'in' with someone in top management


  10. Helpful (12)

    "Hypocrisy, abuse abound at Save the Children"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director, Human Resources in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Director, Human Resources in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The mission of Save the Children is to provide lasting and positive change for children. There is no argument that this is a worthy cause. Many, many children and families' lives have been changed for the better due to the amazingly good work of the staff of STC. The commitment and passion shown for those in need is amazing.

    Cons

    STC manages today as it did 35 years ago. Rather than a decision making process based on truth, facts and ROI's, decisions are based on political connections, tenure within the organization and how much money will it raise. Abusive, hostile treatment of employees is commonplace. Discrimintory practices are ignored, even when raised to Sr. Management. Fiscal responsibility is shallow at best. The HR department in Westport, CT is incompetent, and in need of an audit. There are violations of USAID requirements as well as EEO requirements. For an organization that employs more than 6,000 and has been around for 75 years, I was shocked by what I found.

    Advice to Management

    Sr. Management needs to take a hard look at itself. Several members of the Sr. Management team should be replaced by professionals who know how to run a business and who understand that a non-profit can be run like a for-profit and still achieve it's mission. The disconnect between their public image, the mission and their internal behavior will be your undoing.


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