The World Bank Reviews | Glassdoor

The World Bank Reviews

Updated October 16, 2017
95 reviews

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The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
Jim Yong Kim
41 Ratings

95 Employee Reviews

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More Pros and Cons

  1. "STC, sector work (project managment)"

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

    I worked at The World Bank as a contractor

    Pros

    Consultants usually get the opportunity to contribute to the key activities (e.g. draft and influence project proposals, design activities , supervise...) soon after joining.
    Working on initiatives that promise to deliver scalable solutions and make a strong impact.
    Access to decision-makers in client countries and the top expertise from around the world, makes the WB an exciting place for international development professionals who like to be at the source of ideas on new how to achieve better results and think about the challenges.

    Cons

    Very little ownership over work completed, and limited opportunity for recognition. beyond the project team.
    Consultants typically do not get invited to the office meetings so there is hardly any opportunity to establish a relationship with sector managers who have hiring authority for staff positions.
    Project leaders depend on STC support and have little, if any, incentive to help consultants transition to full time employment.
    Culture of denigration of consultants
    No benefits

    Advice to Management

    Apply your own ethical guidelines


  2. "Consultant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Consultant
    Current Contractor - Consultant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at The World Bank as a contractor

    Pros

    flexibility, some colleagues, I do not know

    Cons

    They treat consultants as a second class employees.

    Advice to Management

    Change everything with regard to consultants

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Used to be a good and fair international organization"

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

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Competitive salaries ; stimulating international environment; highly qualified colleagues; noble mission

    Cons

    In the last 10 years, many reorganizations; self-imposed budget cuts; reduced benefits; low staff morale, job uncertainty; reverse discrimination i.e. White European or American males have little carrier prospects; short-term consultants exploited with no benefits, and limited working days (max 150 days a year)

    Advice to Management

    Gender equality has been brought to an extreme, which is only affecting the recruitment of qualified staff; management is not realizing that because of the current short-sighted management policies, the bank is losing qualified staff on a daily basis. Also, stop exploiting consultants since they are the ones who do the majority of the work in the organization!


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Constant Restructuring & Limited Career Progression"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Private Sector Development Specialist in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Private Sector Development Specialist in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at The World Bank full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    International experience with some exceptional colleagues.

    Cons

    In the over 8 years I worked at the World Bank there was not a single year that they were not restructuring. This meant that it was impossible for entry to mid-level staff to map a career path or build skills properly as managers were busy with "change" most of the time. It is also a very hierarchical and bureaucratic organization with very rigid structures which means that actual change is limited.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "So much wasted potential"

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

    I worked at The World Bank full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good salaries, benefits, and inspiring colleagues. Country clients include working at the highest levels of government and on national programs. It's the kind of place where it's not uncommon to hear 4-5 different language just from the walk from my office to the cafeteria for lunch. That kind of diversity is amazing.

    Cons

    Like any bureaucracy, everything is frustratingly slow and requiring a lot of administration, but that's to be expected. The ongoing reorganization and lack of common sense from the executive leadership means there's zero stability, which leads to an erosion in planning, i.e. it's hard to make long term plans with another unit in the Bank if that unit may be dissolved or moved in the coming months. The Bank is making massive cuts to any program that is outside its core lending operations, which isn't doing wonders to make it stand out from its competition. Additionally, with more restrictions from the State Department on H1 visas, it's increasingly difficult to impossible to hire good people and to retain good consultants and absolutely no clear path for consultants to move into staff positions.

    Advice to Management

    If cuts are still necessary, be faster and much more transparent about it. Most of my job became justifying my job, which is not what any of use signed up for and why I left.


  6. "STC"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at The World Bank as a contractor

    Pros

    maximum work is 150 days so you can have leaves theoretically. You can submit a payment request at any time, so good liquidity.

    Cons

    too much decentralization. your career is totally up to your manager. most people dont have relevant projects to make an impact on their careers.

    Advice to Management

    update the technology. more centralization and less policy guidelines.


  7. "STC"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Trade Policy Specialist in Washington, DC
    Current Contractor - Trade Policy Specialist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at The World Bank as a contractor (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great for networking and getting exposed to smart people

    Cons

    STC - contract position does not have benefits including health insurance. This could be painful.

    Advice to Management

    Improve working conditions for the STCs- offer health insurance for permanent temps.

  8. "JPO"

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

    I worked at The World Bank full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Prestige, pay, and lifestyle - people are impressed when you tell them at a party about your job, the pay is pretty fantastic, especially for the hours you put in, and great hours and vacation policies.

    Cons

    Incredibly and maddeningly bureaucratic, slow, hard to be responsible for anything when you are under 35, a lot of politics, and sometimes you are not even sure whether you are fulfilling a purpose or you are just spending the world's tax money inflating you and your colleagues' and do not much more

    Advice to Management

    Not much advice to give - it is a big machine and it is what it is. I am not terribly sure what they can do differently.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Be very, very careful."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Short-term Consultant in Washington, DC
    Current Contractor - Short-term Consultant in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The World Bank as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Access to great conferences and events, amazing to work in a place where there are so many non-Americans. Nice to have that big name on your resume.

    Cons

    Incredibly poor management - my manager made people cry on a daily basis. Some people are just cruel. There is a culture where no one uses their time productively (get used to 3+ hour meetings) and yet everyone complains about being behind, being stressed, and being over worked/burnt out. There is no system to remove old, poorly performing managers. There is absolutely no orientation for new consultants (no one even tells you how to fill out the request for payment, you are expected to just know). If you are young, you will be discriminated against and not taken seriously or given interesting tasks. They'll never hire you as a full time employment because why pay you full time/benefits when they can rip you off. If you must take an STC job there, add it to your resume for no less than one calendar year, then go get yourself a real job somewhere that believes in treating its employees properly.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the STC system - it is broken and exploitative. People need health insurance and that is not too much to ask. Rework your very broken HR and IT systems so that people don't spend far too much time setting up and connecting VC conferences. Take a long hard look at the system around meetings and productivity. There is rarely a justifiable reason for regular three hour meetings.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Consultant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Current Contractor - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The World Bank as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Interesting work with the chance to have an impact

    Cons

    Instability. Hard to break into the staff positions. Managing serious ego/personality issues. No health benefits.

    Advice to Management

    If you're going to use consultants for a year or more full time, you should do a better job of creating pathways to more stability and/or providing a basic benefits package. You can't use consultants like full time staff and then treat them like part time contractors.


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