World Economic Forum Reviews | Glassdoor

World Economic Forum Reviews

Updated February 12, 2017
72 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

3.2
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
World Economic Forum Founder & Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab
Klaus Schwab
22 Ratings

72 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

Pros
Cons
  • bureaucratic, overly political, lack of transparency in decision-making, irrational thinking, poor decision-making ability (in 4 reviews)

  • ration moyenne, risque de travail routinier (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends

    I worked at World Economic Forum full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible work environment, access to global leaders, good salary for a non-profit, ability to travel

    Cons

    Internal politics is frustrating, work can get repetitive


  2. "World Economic Forum"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Incredible mission and potential to convene the most powerful people in the world for action in the global public interest.

    Cons

    An organization that is in constant flux, trying to adapt to a complex global landscape.

    Advice to Management

    Apply your brand and core values consistently internally and externally


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Typical large enterprise environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at World Economic Forum full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great salary and benefits
    Free travel to Geneva for business
    Theoretical social good of work being done

    Cons

    Tons of meetings
    Incompetent management
    Everything takes forever to do
    Questionable social good of work being done


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (1)

    "BEST OF THE BEST"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Manager in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Financial Manager in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at World Economic Forum part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    best people to work around and to make volunteer work and to meet high profile people in the community. you get the experience of the people around you.

    Cons

    As much I say there is no cons. Because its fun to be around and the knowledge you gain is amazing .

    Advice to Management

    To keep spreading and never stop. I think should keep increasing the hubs and the community work in the way their doing.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Awesome place to work but find your focus"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Team Coordinator in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Team Coordinator in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Colleagues and travel opportunities are really unbeatable.

    Cons

    It's tough to see a path of grow, it's still an extremely bureaucratic organization.

    Advice to Management

    If you want quality, spend the money to get it.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at World Economic Forum full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Work-life balance, Smart people, Benefits,

    Cons

    Compensation, Very political, Lack of strong management

    Advice to Management

    Reward people according to performance not due to tenure and political affiliation


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Senior Community Associate"

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

    I have been working at World Economic Forum full-time

    Pros

    Fantastic people in the NY office, interesting networking opportunities, great travel opportunities, decent benefits (especially vacation time), relatively flexible work environment.

    Cons

    Disconnect between headquarters in Geneva and the NYC office with people in charge and making decisions for teams and industries they know absolutely nothing about. The ability to grow, learn, and progress your career is entirely dependent on your cluster/team head - there is no defined career path here, it's solely up to who your manager is and both their and your willingness to let you carve out your own path.

    Advice to Management

    Trim some of the fat at the top levels of the organization and add some of those resources to the many teams in house that are carrying the business and could use it. If something is not broken, or rather performing well or better than other things, don't try to reimagine it under the guise of 'innovation' when you're really just trying to have more control over something you're not wholly qualified to deal with.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Great group of people to work with"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    - you can create your own projects so long as you are meeting other requirements
    - plenty of training opportunities for growth

    Cons

    - not a great work/life balance
    - some projects get completely lost and forgotten about


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Great experience working with well-educated internationally minded colleagues. Limited growth opportunity."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at World Economic Forum full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    It's an inspirational work environment working with well-educated colleagues committed to making a difference. Perks are pretty good such as the 401k plan and 5 weeks vacations. Opportunity to travel to annual and regional meetings. The ambiance is good, it feels like a family owned-business.

    Cons

    The processes are heavy, constantly changing and not always for the better. Limited growth opportunity for the non 'Global Leadership Fellows' of the Forum.

    Advice to Management

    Tend to hire over qualified people for the job resulting in high turnover.


  11. Helpful (36)

    "Lackluster management. Get in, stay for a few years and get out."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at World Economic Forum full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Just as the Forum serves as a platform for its constituents, the Forum serves as a platform for its employees. The network you gain at the Forum is unparalleled. As a hub and connector, the Forum can enable you to meet the right people - both constituents and colleagues - to take you to the next step . If you approach the Forum with a cogent strategy and the right attitude (drinking a little bit of the Swiss Kool Aid helps), you can find advance your career in a wonderful way.

    Your colleagues will be some of the best and brightest with the warmest hearts. Just like any organization, there will be sour apples who are jaded, cynical, or entitled. There will be a few that make you think, "How on earth did you get here? Who hired you?" But the core of the organization exhibits a wonderful culture of curiosity, nerdiness and helpfulness. The folks, for the most part, are humble and authentic. Jive with the culture and you'll be rewarded.

    The social cachet that comes with working at the Forum is fun. For those in the know, they light up when you say where you work and start asking you about people you've met and places you've been. For those not in the know, they assume you're a spy, an economist and/or an elitist.

    On the whole, compensation is good. I came from the rag-tag non-profit sector so everything seemed great! I can't say how my ex-private sector colleagues may feel.

    Cons

    For the first year on the job, you will repeated try to answer, "What we do?" For subsequent years, you will find a way to BS an answer that may or may not seem intelligible to a layperson.

    Our founder (who is still running the show for 40+ years) describes the Forum as adaptive to the needs of the global system. Others might say we're schizophrenic. Another review says management has a "weather-vane approach to strategy." I'm in incredible agreement with this statement. A shiny new trend/topic emerges and captures the attention of senior managers. Resources are diverted. Results are mixed.

    Like the obstinate Swiss alps visible from the windows of HQ in Geneva, the organization has resisted some innovative change. Process are burdensome, sacred and often times confusing. The main explanation being: This is how it's always been done. Some processes are set in stone: event logistics being the most notorious - do not try to mess with them. Yet some are curiously completely non-existent: business development, account management, project management. Knowledge is kept in the minds of employees and transferred verbally or through formal or informal meetings, not on any robust internal platform.

    We may tout the vast array of changes, new ideas, innovations, but at the heart of what the Forum does is staging Davos and similar events. Davos is where the working calendars start and ends. Most projects, constituent strategies, internal incentives are planned around Davos. The Forum is heavily an events organization.

    Decentralized management structure and a founder-first, top-down culture creates fiefdoms (a common word you will read on Glassdoor). Your time at the Forum will be heavily impacted by who your manager and your colleagues are. Some teams have stellar reputations with happy, engaged employees. Some teams are a recurring management quagmire with high turnover and distrust. Yet the Forum keeps these poor managers employed. Some have internal reputations as untouchable because they were hired by the founder.

    Top brass (the managing board) is heavily comprised of white men from Europe or North America. Why is it so difficult to hire and retain a female senior executive? Why is it so difficult to hire and retain a senior leader from the developing world?

    Career development is self-initiated. Talent development is not a core investment. Trainings are sparse and barebones. HR is mostly used for talent acquisition and benefits management. Don't expect career support from them.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in back office functions. With the quick growth of the organization and need to live up to our shimmery brand, teams like HR, finance, legal are heavily taxed and inefficient. HR should take on career management. Finance should be able to nimbly process contracts and manage revenue. Legal should not be so heavily outsourced.

    Managers should be evaluated on management ability and not just internal networks, tenure or domain knowledge. Invest in growing and promoting talent. Be a talent incubator instead of bringing in a constant stream of outsiders to fill top executive roles.

    Take a critical look at the internal incentive structure. In the quest for growth, competition has brewed between teams causing confusion and multiple asks for money/support to external constituents. Incentive teams to collaborate beyond simply telling them to collaborate.



Showing 72 of 77 reviews
Reset Filters