Refinery29 Reviews

Updated Jul 3, 2020

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2.9
41%
Recommend to a Friend
40%
Approve of CEO
Refinery29 Co-Founder Philippe von Borries (no image)
Philippe von Borries
88 Ratings
Pros
  • "The accounting and finance teams are awesome at R29(in 16 reviews)

  • "Happy hours, work events, nice social atmosphere, able to shadow/assist different teams to see what you like(in 10 reviews)

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

  • "But that is the world of digital, not exclusive to R29(in 18 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Super cool place to work at."

    5.0
    Former Employee - Writer 

    I worked at Refinery29 full-time

    Pros

    Good environment, great people, flexibilty

    Cons

    Pay can be dicey, management

  2. "Awful."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Content Writer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Refinery29 full-time

    Pros

    Before working elsewhere I didn’t realize how bad it was.

    Cons

    Management has no clue. The content the ask writers to create is often misleading or uninformed.

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  3. Helpful (4)

    "You may think you want to work here, but i assure you that you do not"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editorial Associate in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    great colleagues, fun office atmosphere, the opportunity to work in media and get paid to do it but....

    Cons

    Vice/R29 own all your ip. they don't respect your time or your personhood. They especially prey on BIPOC and LGBTQ staffers to use their time and ideas for content and then refuse to promote them until they quite or are fired. They repeatedly tell you that you should be "grateful" for what you have, when in factt they should be grateful to have YOU. This place is rotten from the core. I give it a year until Vice just kills the brand. Vice is also bad! Digital media in general is a big ol' scam.

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  4. Helpful (1)

    "Exciting Company with growing pains"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President Senior Business Leader in New York, NY
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Refinery29 full-time

    Pros

    Authentic company empowering people at all levels

    Cons

    constantly changing strategy and leadership

  5. "One of my all time favorite places to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Finance/Accounting in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The accounting and finance teams are awesome at R29. Some of the company perks include: amazing events, happy hours, casual dress, office snacks, merch and flexible PTO.

    Cons

    I can't think of any cons related to the accounting or finance department. They really are a great team.

  6. "Incredible company, amazing mission, astoundingly smart people with a strong value in strong creative"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Creative Director in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The creative and the narrative of the content is at the forefront of everything. Nothing stops the storytelling that will resonate with the reader.

    Cons

    Speed, speed and glorious speed. But that is the world of digital, not exclusive to R29

  7. "Amazing place to work"

    5.0
    • 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

  8. Helpful (7)

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

    4.0
    • 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

    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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  9. Helpful (16)

    "DO NOT WORK HERE"

    1.0
    • 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.

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  10. "Good environment"

    4.0
    • 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.

Found 153 reviews