PATH Reviews | Glassdoor

PATH Reviews

Updated May 12, 2017
99 reviews

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3.4
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Steve Davis
51 Ratings

99 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Junior and middle-level staff treated as disposable (in 6 reviews)

  • Senior management actively discourages innovation and novel ideas from lower-level staff (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Mission driven"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Full Time in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Full Time in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at PATH full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Smart leadership, collaborative team environment.

    Cons

    The cost of healthcare benefits for employees is a real issue.


  2. "Case Manager Navigator II"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Human Services Specialist in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Human Services Specialist in Dallas, TX

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

    Pros

    Got to be creative and really work hands on with the clients. Got to work within the community a lot.

    Cons

    Very little support and the lone case manager for over 80 people with severe mental health.

    Advice to Management

    Be supportive, while not micro managing.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Take a look at how they treat their inferiors"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Program Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    • Legacy institution
    • Some of the most amazing people
    • Good workplace diversity - lots of women and people of color
    • Work-life balance, lots of vacation and sick days
    • Good connections

    Cons

    • Very prejudiced against “non-technical” staff, junior staff, temps, interns
    • Limited career growth opportunities
    • Centralized services are underfunded, have no review mechanisms, and introduce unnecessary inefficiencies
    • Passive aggressive culture
    • Senior management actively discourages innovation and novel ideas from lower-level staff
    • No feedback mechanisms for management
    • Lots of donor funds invested in communications and leadership projects with little oversight and questionable impact

    I write this review with quite a lot of reservation. I have a lot of respect for PATH as a legacy global health institution with historical knowledge matched by few other organizations. But unfortunately, what remains of this legacy is bogged down but what I’ll simply call willful ignorance.

    Most work I’ve observed has been unsuccessful by most measures, and management appears willfully ignorant. Timelines are routinely delayed for fixable reasons, Sharepoint is considered a cutting edge project management tool, significant investments are funneled into a mediocre digital presence, document production is mired in endless reviews, and an over-zealous proofreading culture makes writing anything much more difficult than it needs to be (PATH takes pride in having their own internal editorial style—which is just as ridiculous as it sounds: most companies are content using international standards, like Chicago style or AMA)—the list of incompetencies goes on.

    On some level this is to be expected: nonprofits can’t invest in centralized processes like other international firms. The traditional donor model struggles to scale.

    However, the most perplexing part of PATH is how the organization appears to operationalize willful ignorance of inefficient systems. You could tell management “no” many times and provide clear feedback on ways to improve—and all of it appears to go nowhere. And this happens with external groups as well: I’ve seen donors provide clear directives like, “the sample size of your study is too small,” only to see similar studies with the same sample size designed months later.

    From the perspective of a junior staff, I think this ignorance comes from prejudice: many “senior” staff have advanced technical degrees and probably believe on some level their education gives them expert authority. In a true culture of "innovation," ideas would be privileged over experience. Everyone matters because everyone potentially has innovative ideas. But at PATH, the ideas that seem to matter are the ideas from tenured “technical” staff. If you don’t appear to have the right expertise, the expectation is to bob your head in meetings, signaling quiet optimism and passive agreement with a smile. I’ve seen PAs with global health degrees asked to do nothing but process documents and spend hours of labor on Sharepoint sites. I've seen qualified, smart internal candidates with Master’s degrees denied promotions in favor of inexperienced candidates with “technical” Bachelor’s degrees in Biology/Chemistry/Engineering. I’ve seen “technical" staff quickly promoted to “Senior” level titles for no apparent reason. Meanwhile, some of the most motivated employees, with novel and interesting perspectives, are asked to sit quietly, take meeting minutes, and keep calendars for the “technical" project officers they support. Like it’s said in Harry Potter: “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

    Advice to Management

    Root-out the structures that enable willful ignorance and invest resources into a learning culture program. Here are some tips:
    • Build internal systems that empower anyone with ideas to contribute. You don’t need to invent a new system here: look to previous innovation funding mechanisms
    • Use rotation programs to allow staff opportunities to work with other teams and offices—this minimizes the risk that employees get stuck in undervalued positions
    • Promote less at the top and promote more in the middle
    • Make a clear statement that categorizing staff as either “technical” or “non-technical” is discriminatory and offensive
    • Implement management feedback mechanisms and help managers learn how to coach and mentor junior staff
    • Advocate for infrastructure grants and use them to operationalize business intelligence and junior staff sponsorship programs


  4. "Great Graduate Internship Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Graduate Intern in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Graduate Intern in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I loved my time at PATH and learned so much about PATH's mission and projects as an international NGO. I had great supervisors that really cared about my professional development, interests, and career goals. The work environment is casual and positive with a beautiful office space, fun events, and coffee, tea, and cookies always on hand.

    Cons

    Interns are paid very low wages (although it is nice to be paid at all as an intern!) and do not receive any benefits. There is also a bit of a disconnect between interns/temps and employees that is frustrating long-term. After interning for over six months I still could not have a key card to enter the building, be on the "staff" email list-serv, or use the staff wifi.

    Advice to Management

    I think PATH provides great internship opportunities already but there is always room for growth; encouraging even more of the teams to create their own internship positions would enhance the program and increase opportunity for those wishing to gain experience in global health. Integrating interns and temps into the company a little more would be a great step as well.


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Culture and leadership abysmal"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule
    Opportunities for independent work and management
    Interesting projects

    Cons

    Senior leadership is a joke, more concerned with vanity projects and money-grubbing than actually demonstrating true value
    Leadership in general is lacking, terrible management skills from majority of project directors, some are downright hostile to employees yet get away with it because they are 'experts' in their field
    No room for growth or advancement, period, unless you are willing to scheme and backstab
    Junior and middle-level staff treated as disposable

    Advice to Management

    Knock off the constant re-orgs, flushing money on fancy consultants for things like 'rebranding', pay attention to the people who are getting the work done at junior and middle-levels and show them some respect!


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great outcomes, disorganized internally"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Communications Officer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Communications Officer in Seattle, WA
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - great mission
    - effective work - produce great outcomes and actually saves peoples lives
    - flexible workplace

    Cons

    - very disorganized internally
    - big egos
    - no career cultivation
    - zero culture
    - impossible to move things forward

    Advice to Management

    Improve decision-making, push down authority, reward success and hard work, grow employees, and build a culture of caring, not just academics and science.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great Org with Good Culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I thoroughly enjoyed my time working at PATH. I only left to be a stay at home mom and even went back multiple times when my schedule allowed for some flexibility. I would recommend the organization to anyone looking to work for a non profit that does tangible work and makes a real difference in the world.

    Cons

    During my time there was a shakeup in management, which wasn't much fun, but seems to be more stable now.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to keep a small org culture as the org grows. Don't let it become like BMGF.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Lots of change"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Director, Management in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Associate Director, Management in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Mission is powerful and the organization has a positive impact on the communities it serves. The organization is undergoing change in an effort to be competitive with other NGOs and work more effectively across the organization. In my area this has meant a lot of changes in leadership, including changes in managers/performance leaders.
    The organization is trying to proactively manage this change, but it is hard and can feel chaotic. The project work continues to move forward and I do think our leaders are trying to improve things and prepare for the future.

    Cons

    Reorganizations take a long time (actually decision making and change in general is slow) and the systems are archaic, so months can go by between an announcement and action. Given the fast-paced environment of the project work, this creates a strange environment. Leadership is often not aware of the impact that additional reviews/committees have on the teams, particularly given the relatively heavy involvement of the donors in much of our work.

    Advice to Management

    Prioritize the changes and understand where they are needed and not. Focus on the underlying systems so that we can get things done.


  9. "Great working experience"

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

    Pros

    Opportunity to work in global health for a good cause.

    Cons

    Virtual organization so there is no real wet lab experience.


  10. "Great people, funding challenges"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Assistant Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Smart, ambitious, devoted staff; Strong mission

    Cons

    Organization is experiencing funding challenges.

    Advice to Management

    Please recognize the talent in your organization and reward them with advancement. Prevent them from leaving to advance their careers!


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