PATH Reviews

Updated April 19, 2015
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2.6
37 Reviews
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Steve Davis
17 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lab Tech in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Lab Tech in Seattle, WA

    I worked at PATH full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Supportive work environment, progressive and receptive to innovative ideas.

    Cons

    Heard from non-lab staff that management could be difficult, but nothing I've experienced

  2. Program officer

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

    I have been working at PATH full-time (more than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    1. The mission is inspiring and you are contributing to work that really can make a difference.
    2. Generous 401K company contribution
    3. Decent vacation

    Cons

    Extremely hierarchical. Morale varies by program and even by units within programs. And in many units, morale is really low. The leadership within certain programs is very top down, command and control. Senior leadership is comprised of many (not all) poor managers, some of whom are borderline abusive, many of whom are patronizing toward their staff. If you are working for one of these, you are on your own, so you must deal with it or get out. I think these less than stellar leadership team members are clueless about how little their staff respect them. They create a culture where blame always needs to be assigned. And it's never on them. It's a bad sign when people walk around with a knot in their stomachs because they never know when they'll be blindsided.

    Advice to Management

    Stop focusing so much on silly "management process speak." Try providing management training to managers, more than the 2-day training you have now, refresh that training, and incorporate some accountability into how these senior leaders manage people.

  3. Helpful (1)

    Good company values but lacking

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

    I have been working at PATH

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good location. Company has good values (if only they were better about communication internally).

    Cons

    Terrible benefits for a healthcare company. With Cigna it is almost impossible to find a healthcare provider.
    Leadership is unorganized and unaligned. Employees hoard information. Layoffs almost every year make you fear for your job. A lot of employees with families always leaving early and working from home. Difficult to move around in the company. Raise at year end is NOT based on performance but a very small flat rate. Values of the company are great but culture is lacking seriously.

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  5. Great Mission

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Program Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Program Assistant in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at PATH full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great people, great mission, management seems committed to finding their way in a shifting funding environment, but it's more corporate than it used to be. It's a time of culture shift.

    Cons

    Organization in big transition with some growing pains.

    Advice to Management

    Don't loose the heart and soul of the work in the process of making changes. Clarify your values and improve the culture to keep employees connected and feeling good about the work.

  6. Helpful (3)

    PATH offers a great learning environment but lacks opportunities for career advancement.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at PATH full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Very talented, passionate people. Staff is very understandable and flexible to personal schedules and need to work around working hours. Work-life balance is definitely encouraged. Benefits are great although pay could be better. Higher-level staff enjoy a more rewarding experience at PATH. HQ is located in a comfortable building near many bus lines and amenities.

    Cons

    Many systems within in PATH are just redundant and inefficient. Efforts to streamline often make processes more convoluted – very frustrating! While many individual staff are supportive of career development, there are very few, if any, opportunities for this. The “Opportunities for New Professionals” award has been eliminated with the expansion of the executive team. And without support from your performance leader/program leader, training that is available may not be available to you.

    Your experience is largely shaped by the program(s) team you are a part of. There are some long-term folks at PATH now serving as program leads and directors – while it is great to have management that has seen PATH through its many phases, they often bring an outdated mentality that does not help “lower level” employees advance or even feel heard. My role on the programs I support and contribute to vary widely; with one group holding me to their hierarchical view of how things should work and with other groups allowing me to use my skill-set at the associate level. This is very discouraging as many program assistants at PATH come in very over qualified yet trapped in this bottleneck that does not allow for advancement. Getting a promotion is practically a lost cause, no matter how much enthusiasm you bring. As far as the admin positions go; PATH hires for the position, not the person.

    I often feel underutilized and disengaged – and this is certainly not an attribute of my character. When I have expressed interest in training opportunities or wanting to take on more responsibility, I am generally met with encouragement and support. However, when the opportunities present themselves to make this real, I am met with push-back and discouragement in doing so. I am not engaged and often deterred from contributing to any meaningful work making my day-to-day quite boring and very frustrating. Program assistants come through PATH in a revolving door, my time here is now headed out.

    I would recommend PATH to a friend to gain exposure to public health programming but not for a long-term career or for advancement opportunities (unless you are career admin and not working to advance into more direct public health work).

    -Hierarchical
    -Bureaucratic
    -Pay scale
    -No avenue for advancement (even among qualified individuals)

    Advice to Management

    Communicate with staff on organizational changes to ease transition and to actually streamline processes. Foster and encourage career advancement opportunities and training for those at “lower levels”, and follow through with this. Recognize individual talent at all levels and reward those who go above and beyond their duties.

  7. Helpful (3)

    An organization that has lost its focus

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

    I worked at PATH

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Beautiful office space in a great part of town (South Lake Union) and quite a few great people who are passionate about global health.

    Cons

    About 4 years ago PATH underwent a leadership change and at first there was transparent communication and logical steps to fine tune the structure of the organization, but then the strategic vision started to get muddy. Senior managers were brought in that either had no global health experience or were horrid managers. PATH leadership did not communicate to either the staff or the public what was going on, and over the course of a couple of years a huge group of PATH employees left. Many of these employees had been with the organization for decades and had helped to build PATH's reputation. All of this might make sense if there was a different strategic vision and if there had been a well crafted turn around plan to bring PATH towards a more market driven focus, but that is not the case. The best commercialization officers left the organization as well and each month it seems that things are getting worse.

    Advice to Management

    It is very sad and a waste of potential. I think that the board should really take notice and bring a new leader to PATH - one that understands global health, where it needs to go and also understands how to manager human capital.

  8. Helpful (3)

    Toxic: Mid and entry-level employees are treated poorly; Senior management is not grounded in reality.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC

    I worked at PATH full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There are some amazing technical people doing great work in the field. Compensation can be good but varies widely.

    Cons

    Very little is invested in professional development for mid and entry level employees, and the culture is quite dismissive and demeaning to non-senior staff. The leadership team got this feedback through an organization-wide survey a few years ago, and instead of working to remedy it, there was actually backlash because VPs didn't appreciate the feedback. The message that we are not important is sent over and over in various ways. Senior staff also often use their reportees to do personal work for them.

    HR is disorganized and unprofessional. Compensation varies widely between staff with the same experience, causing painful dynamics within teams. Staff turn over is high and they don't seem too concerned.

    The contracts management department is even less organized and less professional, leading to tons of project management problems.

    Decisions are driven by personalities, and are therefore inconsistent. Systems are inefficient.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring VPs who don't actually have global health/international development experience and don't any work and start investing more in the entry and mid-level staff who actually get things done so that they are more likely to stay and benefit the organization.

  9. Disappointment - not an inspiring place.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at PATH

    Pros

    Mission & Location.
    Telecommute flexibility.
    Some c-level management with good intention to continually improve the organization. Microcosms of good employees with integrity (that suffer)

    Cons

    Culture contradicts values behind the mission.
    Machiavellian employees without healthcare or relevant experience for their roles and unsophisticated shell games/dirty politics to compensate tend to succeed under this management (at cost of quality delivery of needs to developing communities) - politics beyond that of corporate for-profit.

    Not inspiring or efficient/effective use of donor funds… unfortunately disillusioned by PATH 'making an impact'. sad and hope it changes.

  10. Helpful (8)

    Two of the worst years of my life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at PATH full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent salary. The work that's done in-country is actually amazing. Benefits are pretty great, considering it's a non-profit.

    Cons

    This place is a mini-Gates Foundation--they say "jump" and management says "how high!?" without consulting technical experts or those with professional experience. Mind you, your experience at PATH will be dictated by the strength of your department and department leadership, but this place leaves much to be desired overall.

    My experience in particular was plagued by a pathetic high school culture, incompetence at the Director level, and a general lack of real vision for our department mission and goals. Further, being successful in our department was contingent on basically molding yourself into a mini-Director and doing things how SHE would do them, which is just ridiculous. There was no real appreciation for expertise outside of whatever skill sets that she had developed, leaving a lot of talent underutilized because she didn't recognize its value.

    Our Director would peacock whenever one good thing would happen, without realizing that, in the grand scheme of things, it was a really small accomplishment. There was so much talk about "strategy" and "tactics" and advancing our presence, both internal and external to PATH but, when you have a Director that clearly doesn't understand the landscape, nothing new or exciting or innovative is really going to happen.

    My last year here, I saw a major shift to higher people at the upper level that had no technical or practical expertise, just came from previously "titled" positions. This drive to hire people who have titles that sound good but not practical or applicable skill set or knowledge is going to be the downfall of this place. This is especially dangerous in a grant-driven organization--when it comes time for grant renewal, you have people who are being guided to do what the Gates Foundation wants them to do, while also writing grants that fit their idea of what is important, as opposed to doing a thoughtful review of what talent is available in their department and focusing on ways to harness that in next iterations of the grant. There is also LITTLE to NO thought put into diversifying funding, so be prepared to not sleep or eat and have your hair fall out worrying about whether you'll get laid off when grant renewal time comes. At least you'll hit your weight loss goals for the year.

    Also, when reading reviews, definitely take a look at the location--office culture in Seattle is a LOT different than in DC.

    All in all, I was miserable here. Unless you are going to come in at a senior level or don't mind conforming yourself to whatever the senior management wants you to be, then avoid this place like the PLAGUE.

    Advice to Management

    Be more thoughtful about talent hiring and retention. Stop with the PR gimmicks and the darn-awful typical non-profit sayings and be serious about the mission and direction.

  11. 10+ years at PATH, 9 of them happy

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

    I worked at PATH full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You are surrounded by some of the smartest, hardest-working, most accomplished professionals in the world of NGOs, public health, bio-tech and bio-medicine, and relevant supportive roles (admin, finance, PR/communications, etc.) The mission and history of the organization are inspiring, as is its legacy.

    Cons

    Leadership that does not lead. Unclear vision and direction. Extremely poor morale. Lack of support and appreciation for staff outside of executive team (8 or 9 people, vs global staff of 1200.) An "Emporer Has No Clothes" atmosphere, where rising to the top can only occur if you are a recent hire and/or a "Yes Man."

    There appears to be a pervasive belief at the top that PATH's past was problematic/unproductive/inefficient, that any accomplishments were accidental, and that only now might good things happen (eg, now that this gruop of leaders is in place.)

    Consequently, it may be that the glory days of PATH are behind it, they seem to have lost their way, if not their soul. Many current and former staff find this quite sad.

    Advice to Management

    Ask harder questions of yourselves and listen to your staff. Embrace true humility. Encourage real and safe conversations about PATH's direction. Provide excellent staff (of which there are many) with advancement opportunities. Foster and reward innovation across the organization. Look for ways to utilize the expertise of staff, rather than encouraging them (literally) to go elsewhere to move forward in their careers. Do an analysis of lost expertise in public health in the past 24 months, and ask yourselves if this really is desirable. Don't believe your own PR.

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