Vertex Pharmaceuticals "work life balance" Reviews | Glassdoor

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Employee Reviews about "work life balance"

Updated Dec 19, 2019

To filter reviews, or .

3.5
60%
Recommend to a Friend
80%
Approve of CEO
Vertex Pharmaceuticals President and CEO Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D
Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D
187 Ratings
Pros
Cons
More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "work life balance"

Return to all Reviews
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to learn and grow!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Middle Management in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Development opportunities, engaging culture, compensation and benefits, focus on diversity and inclusion, innovative science, connection with patients, passionate leaders

    Cons

    If not careful, work-life balance can get challenging

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2018-03-16
  2. Helpful (12)

    "Great Science! No work/Life balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Excellent science and one of the best R&D scientists I’ve ever worked with. The Pharm Sci department seems really top notch. Pay is average in the industry and the benefits are good

    Cons

    Vertex has always been a hard place to work. Before joining 9 years ago I was ” warned” about the culture. It is not for the faint of heart. Don’t get fooled but the “ Best Place to Work” propaganda. This place works you to death. While there I know 7 people who separated from their spouses due to Never being around, mostly due to the unrealistic brutal drug development timelines they insist on everyone delivering on. Every drug, even drugs they have very little understanding if the biology or chemistry has to get into humans faster and faster... unrealistic demands. Remember, Vertex has worked in CF for 16 years so of course those programs moved faster and faster. But the new pipeline, good-luck. Also, The C suite pays themselves and gives themselves incredible raises and bonus while the employees who kill themselves and create great work get 2% raises. I do not recommend this company; hence I left to find a place that respects Work/Life balance and doesn’t have such a greedy C suite.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Get out of your gorgeous glass tower, walk around and meet and listen to the employees who kill themselves day in and day out. Make their lives better besides yourselves! Also, be realistic with your expectations. Soon you will be “ big pharma” and you won’t be able to attract the smart innovative scientists that made CF treatment a reality. Interesting that all success came out of San Diego... nothing in 10 years from Boston or UK.... bad sign for their CSO who claims and pretends to be a genius. Btw, all the innovative CF science was not from the current CSO... former CSO and Amazing San Diego scientists

    Show More
    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-12-03
  3. Helpful (12)

    "Going at 90mph is exhilarating but will break you down"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Boston, MA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time

    Pros

    Benefits, resources, cafeteria. Seaport is tricky commute but they help with lots of options. Tries to be progressive and modern. Incredibly smart, talented and hard working scientists. Collaborative and friendly people. The science is fast and free flowing. Good culture and values EXCEPT work/life balance.

    Cons

    Speed and burnout culture. 50-60hrs every week is almost standard among scientists. Pay seems good but calculate the $/hr and it's actually not very competitive at all. Almost no technicians/associates so most people will be toiling in the lab while a select few (usually white men) will be plucked into leadership/visibility roles. Pace often results in the fast thing being done over the smart/long term/careful thing such as brute force experiments. They are super proud of diversity numbers but closer inspection it's all at the lower levels; project/senior leaders are almost exclusively white and mostly male. Overall, it often feels like a well paid postdoc, scientifically rewarding but a pyramid scheme based on burnout, privilege, networking and luck.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Pace is often great but stop fetishizing it above everything and recognize the cult of "pace" has costs too. You cannot simultaneously say you value diversity and all people but then rig your system so the best (only?) way to succeed is for research scientists to work a 60 hour week (which favors men and young single people). Good ideas and decisions do not come from exhausted, rushed, overstretched scientists. Diversity is not something to be proud about if it means your white male research "Rock Stars" are built on the backs of underappreciated minorities and women.

    Show More
    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-11-09
  4. Helpful (7)

    "The C-Suit is the Biggest Problem"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Pharmacist in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    They hire interns and allow them to learn.

    Cons

    The C-Suite is the biggest problem of this company. They exploit employees at all levels, set crazy and unrealistic deadlines, never help an employee maintain proper work-life balance and still don't give a promotion or pay raise opportunities. All the raises are for themselves. Employees shouldn't even ask about this injustice as they will find an excuse to kick you after that.

    Advice to Management

    You are nothing without your people!

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-12-20
  5. Helpful (26)

    "STOP!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Scientist in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    -Benefits -Pay -Location -Some people are smart and fun to be around

    Cons

    -Work/life balance STILL non-existent -Required to multitask to ineffiency and burn out -The churn of logistics disables the science -Constant chaos, constant sprint, very disorganized

    Advice to Management

    To top management: STOP! We.need.more.mid-level.scientists.in.CMC.to.work.here.to.meet.the.timelines.otherwise.slow.them.down! Stop putting CMC management in a bind! Without CMC you have NOTHING to put into the clinic, NOTHING! Hire more full time, mid-level employees at RSL! Why do you think your model works to keep burning people out? It is NOT productive, NOT sustainable, and A COMPLIANCE RISK! Stop making people stressed out and suffer, causing them to lash out at their direct reports, peers, and their own management!

    Show More
    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-09-12
  6. Helpful (22)

    "All talk, no walk"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - GMDA in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great salary and benefits: -10%+ yearly bonuses with 20-50% stock awards that vest over 3 years. -4 weeks vacation to start and company shut down between Christmas and New year -$300/month commuter benefit, charitable donation matching, and $125/month student loan payment  -401k is just OK with 100% match for up to 3% and 50% match for an additional 1-3% I am lucky that I work on a team with a manager who is supportive, empathetic, and reasonable. The people I work closest with are smart, helpful, and generally easy to work with. Like most places, your experience will vary depending on the department and immediate team. Vertex as a whole is extremely successful, and I take pride in working for a company that focuses on rare genetic diseases and research.

    Show More

    Cons

    All the comments about senior management in GMDA are spot-on. The comment about adding barriers instead of value is particularly accurate. Extra layers of process and review add inefficiencies and confusion. Decision makers are either unresponsive, unreasonable, or can't agree with each other. They also want their hands in every. little. thing.  Vertex talks a big talk about wanting to support its employees, help them grow, maintain work-life balance, "push decision making down and out" (please), but never follows through. There is a lot of unnecessary pressure and finger-pointing that leads to fear and burnout. They badger and bribe employees to complete an "optional" development plan so that they can say they got 100% participation and claim they did something to support employee development; whether the content of these plans is actually useful is another story. Vertex also talks big about innovation and excellence, but, in my department in particular, opportunities are decided by seniority instead of merit. I am told time and again that I'm ahead of my peers who have been here longer, and yet they get most of the choice projects and growth opportunities. People are ridiculously sensitive about fairness.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    You can't keep pushing drugs through the clinic at back-breaking speed by having employees work (and re-work) endlessly. You need to get MORE EFFICIENT. Stop changing things at the last minute. Establish clear processes and STICK TO THEM. Listen to your seasoned workers and you might actually get it right the first time. Invest in technology. 

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-08-24
  7. Helpful (20)

    "Run far away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The Boston location is in the heart of the seaport and the building is beautiful.

    Cons

    Unfortunately this company has taking a turn for the worst. GMDA was once a group that worked collaboratively for the greater good. Now, it is a completely toxic culture, which is lead by fear. It is now the norm to see the senior management throw their team under the bus, back-up and do it again. There is no leadership at the VP level, no desire to listen or help employees (HR is a joke), and horrible discrimination based on gender/race/ethnicity. Be certain that if you try to talk to HR or a senior leadership there will be significant retaliation. Do not be fooled! The pay and benefits are not that good, you will never get anything above a 3% pay raise and promotions are extremely difficult. There is zero work-life balance, as senior management expects you to work round the clock to hit the ridiculous timelines they set in order to be able to brag about being the fastest drug company to bring new products to market.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Clean house in GMDA. The senior management is horrible. You are loosing all of your best employees, because of them. Also, train your HR employees to take claims of discrimination, harassment, and bullying seriously.

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-05-24
  8. Helpful (30)

    "No chance of growth no matter how hard you work.."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Scientist in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good salary and compensation Good work life balance and beer hour

    Cons

    No chance of growth unless you are white. The place is full of politics and nepotism. I was surprised in my early days when people would just randomly leave. Soon I discovered that you can get all the awards and appreciation but your career will not advance. If you keep promoting only certain people without any talent while keeping people of color at the same position (no matter how hard and productive they are) than one day you will be left with no talent. I have seen really smart people leave Vertex just because they were tired of politics. This is the reason that Boston site could not produce any molecules in past few years. I really liked the science and the research, but I could not deal with politics and just wait for your shares to vest without any actual growth.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Stop spending time and money on diversity propaganda and rather do something in the organization for actually supporting people of color. People who bring new disease area never gets any actual appreciation while someone who cannot calculate pH and solubility gets platinum and palladium VOCAPs. Focus on talented people and advance them so they can stay.

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-02-06
  9. Helpful (36)

    "sad place to work"

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

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    - great benefits - but they have changed the compensation package many times - on-site caf is fabulous

    Cons

    - don't care about employees. bottom line. HR is only for legal protection. - turnover high due to constant reorgs. new mgt. - bully mgt style and "do as I say but not as I do" - not nibble - big pharma players - no work life balance

    Advice to Management

    You have destroyed the culture by flooding the gates with a bunch of sr leaders who come in, reorg, rename, let skilled people go, hire friends and then the same leaders are then fired or leave. This hiring cycle has destroyed Vertex. Sorry to see the decline. The teams are exhausted from all the changes in people and process. If you are there long enough, you can just pull out past process. Do you wonder why you are always hiring? this is not a growth issue. this is a culture issue.

    Show More
    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-03-08
  10. "Favorable corporate culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Clinical Account Specialist 
    Recommends

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    high caliber sales colleagues, autonomy, work/life balance

    Cons

    product became obsolete once new drug class was approved

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2018-12-21
Found 38 reviews