Refinery29 Reviews | Glassdoor.ie

Refinery29 Reviews

Updated 5 Nov 2019

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2.6
38%
Recommend to a Friend
22%
Approve of CEO
Refinery29 CEO Philippe von Borries (no image)
Philippe von Borries
86 Ratings
Pros
  • "Really enjoyed my time interning at R29(in 14 reviews)

  • "Great themed monthly birthday celebrations, snack-filled kitchens, frequent happy hours(in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • "Zero work life balance, with loads of stress(in 22 reviews)

  • "Is R29 really about empowering women or just a cheap outlet to read about the Kardashians(in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "typical media company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Writer 
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    the people are wonderful and smart

    Cons

    internally, it's kind of chaos — the people in charge all say different things. there's no cohesion

    Advice to Management

    be transparent.

    Refinery292019-11-06
  2. "Amazing place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Accountant in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Refinery29 full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great team ,amazing ,supporting managers and welcoming culture

    Cons

    Nothing much to complain .But could improve on flexible working and some benefits

    Refinery292019-11-04
  3. Helpful (5)

    "come flourish if you hustle, and you better work (ru paul voice)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Refinery29 full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - if you are a go-getter and proactive and nimble then this place will help you grow professionally. The reach of the brand is huge and despite revenue pressure, the brand is important, edgy and a tastemaker in the industry. You get to literally build everything and learn as you go. Our work is actually good, our creative is cutting edge and we need to remember why we won over the hearts of our followers in the... first place. I only feel it now that I have left, how I took the brand for granted. We did cool work, and was the underdog and risen out of it. Just look at companies who legitimately have copied so much of our work in experiential and the aesthetics. If you're on the client-side, you are talking to higher-ups in the industry and have so much exposure. These are your contacts ladies and gentlemen, take them wherever you go next. - the fact is, if you've worked at an agency or any huge corporation, you realize the number of things you can get away with working here. You want to launch something? Prove it and get the buy-in and chances are they will support you as long as you take full accountability and ownership. Yes, there are people here who have their own agendas, but let's be honest that 80% of other companies are the same. And if you are rolling your eyes reading this, the truth is you probably have not been truly involved and a stakeholder with the executive teams at other companies, because no brand is perfect and there is bureaucracy in most companies. The C-suite or management here will listen to you and take that meeting if your pitch is good, there's not layers and layers of things like my last job. - the people that work here have so much god damn heart. Either they are in it for the mission, or they are in it for their coworkers. If you do something great internally, just remember it’s the people and the brands you touch that will feel it. If you don’t let the jadedness blind you, there is room to make a difference and people will be appreciative and will actually slack you and say “thank you for doing that” and “I appreciate you” There are a handful of people that left to other jobs and came running back, because they know they got it good here but the grass was greener for them

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    Cons

    - the things that people complain about here are sometimes crazy and just shows how inexperienced people are and how entitled they are. Granted, the company has done a bad job of holding firm on things so there’s also a lot of breeding bad behavior.... but sometimes I just wanted to blurt out in a meeting "are you here to work or complain and last time i checked, this is work and it's not about your feelings,... nothing is personal and its for the business!!" - once you climb up that ladder, it’s hard to stay positive because there’s a string of people who I swear their mission is to get the next wave of people to be more and more toxic. They complain and complain but they don’t want to leave/ probably because they can’t get jobs elsewhere and their managers are too nice and attached to let them go. ADVICE - let them go and hire new people who actually want to be here. They are poisoning so many people who didn’t even experience the same things as they did. - you are earning every penny you get, there is no coasting. - media is not known for big money, firm budgets and free lunch. Go to an app for that, because if that’s what you want, this is not the industry for you. If you want to feel stable and work a standard 9 - 5, go work for the big pubs but then you’ll also hate yourself for other reasons (like, 99% of the staff look the same and playing catch up) and then boom, layoffs across the whole damn industry... because we are in the same industry, genius. - your experience is dependent on your manager and how much clout your boss has and if he or she actually believes in you and not just managing you because they have to. If that’s the case, you better work that damn tush off and mingle with other departments and hope to get put into a different department

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    Advice to Management

    Advice to management - there are some people who make a whole ton of money here for NO REASON. Fire the ones who don’t deserve it and give that money to your middle managers. They are the ones making the directors and senior directors look good and also picking up the phone on the young folks and guiding them. - also to the ceos, stay firm and don't bend on your decision. sometimes the counsel you're seeking is... not for the business' best interest, only their own checkbooks. Don't be so damn nice and be a business operator and be FAIR.

    Show More
    Refinery292019-07-22
  4. Helpful (10)

    "DO NOT WORK HERE"

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

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    NONE, WHATSOEVER. DO NOT WORK HERE.

    Cons

    Seriously, it is not what it appears to be from the outside. It is not worth your health and sanity lol. It is a complete and total mess. Q4 layoffs and restructures two years in a row. I would venture to guess more coming this year, if history is any indication. Zero direction. Extremely inefficient across all areas of the company. Process constantly changing, without informed research, implementation, or training.... The people in charge have no idea what they are doing or how to run a business of this size. Insane turnover. "Managers" with zero management experience. Promoted just because you put your time in, not because of skill - leads to terrible and/or lack of management. Many are extremely rude/mean to each other over email. Hostile work environment. The company is totally hypocritical - touts empowering women but treats their mostly women work force with clear disrespect and disregard. EVERYONE is miserable. Everyone wants out. It is a sinking ship. The only positive is the people. Sure, I have learned a ton. I am confident I can handle whatever my next job throws at me. But was it worth years of being underpaid, overworked, lied to, lead on, manipulated, MANY tears, and the many effects of stress on one's life? NO. I would advise my best friend against working here, so I want to extend that to whoever may be considering a job at Refinery29.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Unsure if anything can be done to fix Refinery29.

    Refinery292019-08-22
  5. "Good environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Editor 

    I worked at Refinery29 full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Everyone is very friendly and positive.

    Cons

    The all hands meetings sometimes made it seem like it was a higher calling than it was, we were making the editorial space better, but we still answered to advertisers, we weren’t running a nonprofit.

    Refinery292019-07-19
  6. "Great Mission"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - People Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The mission of this company is one that runs so deep and I have never experienced before. I feel like I have a true ability to influence the lives of young women everywhere through a message of empowerment. Not many other companies can say the same.

    Cons

    Management needs to be work on their leadership skills and spend time truly understanding what it takes to lead a ship during choppy times.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees and collaborate better together

    Refinery292019-06-13
  7. Helpful (20)

    "A Hypocritical House Of Cards"

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

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Creative environment, can meet/work with interesting people.

    Cons

    If I can give you any advice, it's to read the reviews and listen to them. I didn't believe them and I regret it everyday I come to work here. The entire company is in chaos. The execs who are allegedly in charge of content direction do not have a single clue. Underpaid and overworked writers are forced to write reductive SEO stories; the founders of the company regularly direct the verticals to write stories for... their friends; there is no real editorial "strategy" besides aggregating content. Sales has not hit their targets in months, no matter what kind of jargon they try to spin at company meetings. I've worked in media my entire career and I've NEVER seen turnover like this — at least 10 people have quit within the last 5 months, many of which had no job lined up. That should tell you something. The company on its face "champions" women of color and women from marginalized communities but routinely disrespects them internally. Bullying subordinates, unrealistic goals, and constantly shifting and unclear directives are routine. You will not get a meaningful raise or promotion. I'm not sure why there are jobs posted when it's obvious layoffs or at very least a hiring freeze is on the horizon. The women at the top of the company are clearly in it not to create something meaningful and sustainable, but to enrich themselves and become D list socialites. It's very obvious execs are angling to sell the company off as quick as possible before the money runs out. Media overall right now is a mess — but this may be one of the worst. Avoid if you can!

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    I don't think there's any advice at this point that can save the company.

    Refinery292019-06-18
  8. "It's not easy but it's worth it."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    You get out what you put in. The work we create and the space we are creating within the walls is some of the most important work I've been apart of in my career.

    Cons

    Shifting market doesn't make it easy.

    Refinery292019-05-22
  9. Helpful (1)

    "So proud to be a part of this work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Every time I stop to look at the content we are creating I am reminded of how we are changing the conversation for women in media. From Shatterbox films, to our events business to our editorial coverage of women politicians to our unique and incredibly honest fashion and beauty series to some of the more light but interesting entertainment pieces and then also our originals pieces...have you seen SHADY - it's so... good. I am so incredibly proud to be a part of this company.

    Show More

    Cons

    This not the easiest place to work. Everyone is running fast and it's not a well organized company. Lots of changes and turnover. We are lean and everyone works incredibly hard. Recently we started doing cross company goal setting and it was such a relief. It made me feel more confident that everyone was working towards a plan instead of running around in 100 directions. I also have more appreciation for what... people do in other departments.

    Show More
    Refinery292019-05-08
  10. Helpful (5)

    "sad and preventable disaster"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Brand Partnerships/Revenue in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Refinery29 full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    there's a huge opportunity to learn more about things that are outside your job function. i learned more about brand advertising here in my first 6 months than in the 3+ years prior.

    Cons

    upper management has legitimately no idea what's going on or where to take the company and there is a huge brain drain taking place. i am legitimately shocked that they are still in business.

    Advice to Management

    trust someone - literally - ANYONE to make business decisions.

    Refinery292019-04-30
Found 148 reviews