The World Bank

  www.worldbank.org
  www.worldbank.org

The World Bank Reviews

Updated 23 November 2014
Updated 23 November 2014
316 Reviews
3.6
316 Reviews
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The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
Jim Yong Kim
107 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance can be good if the travel schedule isn't too onerous (in 23 reviews)

  • Great internarional work environment and opportunities to travel (in 22 reviews)


Cons
  • no benefits, cannot work more than 150 days per year so many end up working for free (in 18 reviews)

  • The culture does not favor the growth of junior staff, especially short-term consultants (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    I am satisfied with my job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Sydney
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Sydney

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The World Bank is a good employer

    Cons

    I do not have any opinion

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I do not have any advice

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    You have to pay for work travel costs yourself and get reimbursed which can be over $10,000

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Etc
    Current Employee - Etc

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

    Pros

    Pay is good due to tax benefits. Opportunities to travel for work.

    Cons

    Little support or job security. Mostly 12 month contracts that are not renewable past 2 years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decentralize.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Still a pretty incredible place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Specialist in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Lead Specialist in Washington, DC (US)

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

    Pros

    Definitely in operations, it's a fast-paced environment. At this level, there is opportunity to work on a range of things- managing staff, leading complex or high-profile initiatives (country and/or regional), representing your global practice on corporate WGs or the like. Despite the current environment, there are still so many incredibly talented people from pretty much every corner of the planet. No single day is routine.

    Cons

    Senior Management, including some leadership in the Global Practices are incredibly tone-deaf and imposing new processes or measures that boggle the mind and frustrate staff. The benefits package seems to constantly be under scrutiny - granted it's generous by US standards but it is not maintaining its competitiveness with Tier-1 consulting firms or investment banks.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Operations Analyst, Country Management Unit

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Analyst in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Operations Analyst in Washington, DC (US)

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Extremely Intelligent Colleagues, Ambitious, Driven, Intellectual Quasi/Academic Atmosphere, Exceptional Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Environment, Diplomatic Status

    Cons

    Cut throat Politics, Bureaucratic Organizational Structure, Rigid Culture, Extremely Hierarchical, Heavy Workload, Performance Irrelevant, Management cares about deference more than work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get over yourselves

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Good Organization

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Budget Officer in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Budget Officer in Washington, DC (US)

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

    Pros

    Multicultural environment makes it a real interesting place to work in.

    Cons

    No life-work balance, benefit cuts, etc.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    An opportunity to have a real impact

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Diverse employment pool of passionate, top-notch colleagues; Excellent compensation and benefits, even if these are quite rightly being scaled down; Operations staff are generally given a high degree of autonomy and responsibility to design and implement projects.

    Cons

    Morale is at a low level with a lot of concerns over much-needed downsizing; Quality of management is inconsistent; Very personality driven as an organization; Value proposition for short term consultants is far less compelling.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Used to be one of the best employers - now losing ground

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Economist in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Economist in Washington, DC (US)

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Stimulating and intelligent environment, highly international, some very dedicated and great people

    Cons

    Two tiered labor system: Those that are staff and those that are consultants. STCs (short-term consultants) get no benefits and have the worst office environment. Many STCs work there in the hope of sometime in the future getting a staff position, so they are not really short-term. This makes them subject to almost abusive conditions, especially during a hiring freeze when no staff opportunities are available.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Worry about the working environment. Morale is down EVERYWHERE with the re-org.
    2. Think about how you can make the World Bank an attractive place to work at again. Currently, it is not.
    3. Think very carefully about making the World Bank into an American corporate-styled cubicle world. Many people have flocked to the Bank, including myself, taking pay cuts, in order to NOT be in that environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Exciting operational work, but tainted by a large beauracracy, nepotism, and a laissez-faire attitude to young people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Short-term Consultant (STC) (Former ETC) in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Short-term Consultant (STC) (Former ETC) in Washington, DC (US)

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent renumeration packages for staff & ETC/ETTs. Working with country clients is challenging and exciting. Colleagues are intelligent and every day is a great learning experience. The work itself can be extremely engaging and challenging. Work life balance can be good if the travel schedule isn't too onerous.

    Cons

    1. Unbearable organizational hypocrisy and highly unequal work place, while touting shared prosperity. STCs have been sidelined in the reform process, although its a major HR problem. STCs, particularly those with G4 visas can only work for the Bank if based in the US, but are excluded from mailing lists, have no benefits, sometimes have problems getting decent rates approved, and often end up working for free given the 150 day limit per FY. Management seems unconcerned about addressing this or even integrating those STCs who spend their full time supporting the goals of the Bank and its clients to the process. Young people have a hard time breaking in. The young professional program is seen as the only way in, but excludes young people who have passed the age limit for entry. Furthermore, the Bank is very top heavy and this hasn't seemed to change with the reform process.

    2. The Bank seems to be becoming more centralized, with decision making being centralized with Global Practice Directors (some of whom are really out of touch with regional nuances and have limited understanding of client engagement) and senior management. This is highly inefficient.

    3. Too inward focused: Many staff believe the Bank is the end-all and be-all of existence. This is particularly true of senior staff who have worked at the Bank for most of their lives. There is little engagement with other agencies on the ground on some projects. Some senior management staff are really out of touch with country contexts, but are responsible for determining work programs and budget allocation. Much could be learnt from what other development partners are doing, and while there has been some improvement recently, more could be done beyond a brown bag lunch here and there.

    4. Working on internal bureaucratic procedures can be time and energy consuming. Persons working on projects end up spending most of their time on Bank processes. It gets quite boring and frustrating when the bulk of your work involves Bank bureaucracy.

    5. Some of the people I work with at the Bank are the brightest and best in their respective fields. However, having worked at several organizations, I can safely say that the level of gossip and trash talking other colleagues I've experienced here surpasses anywhere else I have worked. You really need to be careful with what you say to colleagues.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Address the STC problem immediately. There are 2 types of STCs, (i) genuine consultants in the field and (ii) HQ and CO based STCs (many with G4 visas) that show up to work daily, despite the 150 day limit; have strong client relations; are mostly young people; are committed to the Bank's goals - yet are treated like untouchables in a caste system. The Bank can't be talking about shared prosperity to clients, while ignoring such an exploitative environment.

    Promote more opportunities for young people - and not just through one hiring option that's limited to young people within a specific age range.

    Hire more diversified staff - in terms of educational background; nationalities (some are over-represented, others not); etc.

    Get senior management (esp at the GP level) out to countries more and engaging a bit more with clients.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Research role, support project teams

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Washington, DC (US)

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Multicultural and international environment that offers meaningful work and lots of professional development/growth

    Cons

    Progression is stunted with clear ceilings and dead-ends for people without advanced qualifications.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stronger transparent leadership needed to clear toxic atmosphere of belt tightening exercise

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    good experience.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at The World Bank

    Pros

    great exposure to world bank work at local offices.

    Cons

    they do not provide any training

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