Wikimedia Foundation Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Wikimedia Foundation Reviews

Updated 1 March 2019
68 reviews

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3.8
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Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Katherine Maher
Katherine Maher
21 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Finally, the Foundation puts a premium on work-life balance" (in 7 reviews)

  • "Growing fast, great mission, interesting people" (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • "Many good people leave this place broken, and have a hard time getting jobs due to the Foundation being a non-profit not a tech firm" (in 7 reviews)

  • "The community is heavily negative and completely averse to change, though that may be poor execution of feature launches from the foundation" (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great, mission-focused nonprofit"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Community Advocate in Aberdeen, Scotland
    Current Employee - Community Advocate in Aberdeen, Scotland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation (More than a year)

    Pros

    Working alongside highly motivated and hard-working people. Plenty of opportunity to grow and engage with departments that aren't your own, and plenty of diverse opinions and ideas across the whole movement.

    Cons

    Can be difficult to properly balance work and life (though efforts are being made to this end).

    Wikimedia Foundation Response

    10 Oct 2016 – Talent and Culture

    Thank you so much for posting this review! We offer opportunities to learn and collaborate with staff in all areas of the organization. We are constantly thinking of new ways to engage staff in... More


  2. "Advancement Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Community and Audience Engagement Associate in Cardiff, Wales
    Current Employee - Community and Audience Engagement Associate in Cardiff, Wales
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people, great mission, great organisation.

    Cons

    Remote heavy staff, if you aren't driven by the mission you wont cut it

    Advice to Management

    Continue working on improving remote working practices

    Wikimedia Foundation Response

    12 Jun 2017 – Talent and Culture

    Thank you so much for sharing your work experience. We are very fortunate to have extremely passionate staff who work together to achieve our mission. As a non-profit, our mission is probably the... More

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Fast Paced, closed management"

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

    Pros

    Room for growth and progression, great co-workers

    Cons

    Management are a closed coup, and disconnected from the community.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Good place for activists, not technologists"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Site Reliability Engineer in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Site Reliability Engineer in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very relaxed environment, flexible work hours, no pressure on your goals, friendly staff, mission-driven, diverse, remote work

    Cons

    Lower pay than market average, full of activists pushing their own hidden agendas (you'll clash with them for no reason and only figure out months later), living in the 90's in terms of technology and infrastructure management. It's full of long-timers that know how to navigate the reorg's and not push any boundaries (that will likely be your manager). Very averse to change (specially by senior staff that don't keep up and don't want to learn anything new). Cynicism abounds so be prepared to watch people scoffing at other companies/groups. Be prepare to recite the mantra "I believe in the mission so I will ignore all of this crap", that advice might come from your manager too. If work in the Technology department, be prepared to have a hard time if you decide to leave because employers will likely be surprised that you aren't working with recent technologies.

    Advice to Management

    You're trying to be everything to everybody, that never works. Management does not like to make hard decisions, that's terrible. Be bold, move into the 21st century for real.


  5. "Overall a good place to work"

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

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Growing fast, great mission, interesting people.

    Cons

    Still a bit disorganized on certain teams, but that depends on the department.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Endlessly interesting, with plenty of independence"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Recommends

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I love working at the Foundation because I find the content of my job endlessly interesting -- it is amazing how the global movement puts Wikipedia and its sister projects together piece by piece. I love to learn more about it every day. Though earlier reviews discuss difficult internal politics of the organization, I find that people are not here to climb the ladder -- I really get the sense that the team is there to move the mission forward. That ethos infuses the work every day.

    I also appreciate that our product operation is well-resourced, and product teams are given the independence to creatively pursue our goals without being micro-managed or distracted.

    Finally, the Foundation puts a premium on work-life balance. I do not find myself working late or on weekends. Vacation is encouraged and respected.

    Cons

    Interestingly, even though the Wikimedia Foundation has been around for over 15 years, the product operation still sometimes feels like a startup. There are still a lot of processes and communication channels that need to be put in place.


  7. "Great people, great organization"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Program Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Program Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    What you do matters and has an impact.

    Cons

    If you are not the nerdy type, stay away. The nerdier, the better.

  8. Helpful (7)

    "Brilliant staff, fun place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I love working here. I feel very fortunate to wake up every day and work for an organization that works tirelessly to provide free knowledge to the world. I get to work on interesting and challenging projects which shift often enough not to be boring since we are moving very fast!

    Cons

    I wish I saw my team in person more often, which can be hard due to the remote culture, but that said it is really great to have the work life balance and flexibility the foundation is passionate about providing.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Good place to work with motivated and smart people, pay is not transparent."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time

    Pros

    Remote work, great benefits, meaningful mission, smart colleagues, work/life balance. Good CEO figure, great CPO choice. Depending on where you are and who your manager is, people look out for you and your growth.

    Cons

    Pay is not transparent and the way team budgeting works is a horror. It's easy to think that a white guy doing the same job you're doing is probably making more. If you don't fix that, people from underrepresented groups will leave.

    Advice to Management

    Compensate people for the jobs they're doing, in a transparent manner. You're vocal about your diversity and inclusion efforts, but you're not addressing real problems that are affecting people's day to day, like pay.
    Bringing leaders from outside the org is a bad move. It shows that you can't grow your own people into leaders.

    Wikimedia Foundation Response

    17 Jan 2018 – Talent and Culture

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review. We're glad to hear that your experience working at Wikimedia is generally a positive one. We are committed to diversity & inclusion, so... More


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Good organizations for junior professionals"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The Wikimedia Foundation is a good place to start your career and learn about professional processes, roles, responsibilities, and how to affect change.

    Good professional development opportunities, though depending on the team.

    Good benefits.

    Cons

    If you are somewhat experience, and have spent two years in the organization, it is hard for you to continue growing. It is very hard to become a manager. Even when the work is needed, and you advocate for it multiple time, you have to be doing 80% of the work before you get the recognition or the budget to grow. Sometimes, you may even be the most appropriate person to carry out a project, but some departments are so siloed that they land on people with less experience or no skills to carry out the job. It may represent a growing area for them, but I think it comes at a cost for people who have been trained for years, and don't get recognized.

    Advice to Management

    Take the time to do a skills and experience assessment to assign projects to employees. This might encourage cross-department collaborations.

    Wikimedia Foundation Response

    26 Sep 2017 – Talent and Culture

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post this review. We're glad to hear that your overall experience is a positive one and we will be sure to bring up your feedback to the appropriate... More