Pathfinder International Reviews | Glassdoor

Pathfinder International Reviews

Updated July 11, 2018
56 reviews

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2.9
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Lois Quam
12 Ratings

56 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Wonderful, smart colleagues dedicated to great mission" (in 7 reviews)

  • "People who work at Pathfinder care about each other, and provide much assistance where needed, around the world" (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • "However, some of the executive team has shown a failure to support Pathfinder staff, especially at headquarters" (in 7 reviews)

  • "Obviously, it is a non-profit so steer clear if the all-mighty dollar is your number one motivator" (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great Mission!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Staff are committed to the mission of advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights. Environment is friendly and staff are supportive of each other

    Cons

    Professional growth opportunities are limited but still possible.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Biased reorg porcess"

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

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

    Pros

    Organization is restructuring new hires may get advatage

    Cons

    Funders are loosing trust on this org and revenue declining.

    Advice to Management

    Do not trust outside consultant rather apply your own judgement for strategic plan!

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Dedicated staff changing lives"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watertown, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watertown, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Pathfinder International (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pathfinder continues to be a great and strong organization. There are more than 800 smart and talented Pathfinders around the world who are changing the lives of women every single day. The negative reviews of a few people on this site do not reflect everyone's view and sentiments here at all. We are focused on the mission and we are hopeful and positive that the organization changes happening now will result in the best future for Pathfinder. It means a lot to be part of a talented global team working together, and a training program was introduced recently that has been a great opportunity for people to grow and develop.

    Cons

    Executive Team lacks cohesiveness and some members need to be more visible and transparent with what they're working on. US staff is at risk of letting the negative vibes of some take their focus away from why we're all here -- for the mission and to change people's lives.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on the people who are dedicated to Pathfinder, not those who are choosing to leave. CEO should tackle one new initiative at a time. Don't lose the inclusive mood that started with One Pathfinder. Share organizational goals so we are all know and are aiming for the same results.


  4. Helpful (18)

    "Pay Attention to These Reviews!"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pathfinder International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are no longer any pros, sadly.

    Cons

    Thank goodness Glassdoor encourages public reviews of organizations so we can protect those who may consider employment. These reviews are NOT disgruntled employees or former employees airing their differences with the management. These are good, hard working, and caring people who have been abused, discriminated against, and consistently lied to by HR while the CEO and board support the actions. The questions that need to be answered are is this treatment of at-will employees illegal or just immoral and abusive actions by a few individuals determined to put their inflated egos before the good of the mission and the people they once served.

    Advice to Management

    What else is there to say? You should be ashamed.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Lovely place to work"

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

    I worked at Pathfinder International full-time

    Pros

    Colleagues are extremely brilliant and passionate about their work, friendly.

    Cons

    Separate/individualized projects cause confusion and miscommunication


  6. Helpful (25)

    "Grieve for what was an incredible organization"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pathfinder International full-time

    Pros

    For 60 years, Pathfinder had pioneered in health and rights, and in its commitment to quality and bravery. Pathfinder would engineer new frontiers for women and communities and back it up in word and deed. We delivered for those most in need.

    Cons

    What began as a well intentioned re-org was quickly co-opted by someone in leadership who proported to be acting in the best interests of others but who has since demonstrated she is solely out for her own gain. With the guise of open collaboration and respect for honest exchange of ideas, the leader of this re-org used staff's willingness to believe in her to gain information that she then used to identify those who voiced ideas that differed from her own, and then set out to have them removed. When the new CEO arrived and freely added her own agenda (also not in the best interest of the organization) to this stage, things became dark quickly. Within the departments in headquarters where most of the knowledge and insight into programming existed, nearly every person with long standing institutional health and rights knowledge has now been fired, layed off, or forced out. This is not only a horrible sadness for those who have long loved and lived for Pathfinder, it is a sadness for development. In the current international climate, strong, smart, and brave voices are needed to keep development moving in a direction that truly benefits women and communities. This CEO and the leader of the re-org in Human Resources have snuffed out that voice. It is up to the country reps to save Pathfinder now. The board is clearly not paying attention.

    Advice to Management

    Do whatever is necessary to reinstate the few people left who could bring Pathfinder back to its former pillars of strength. If you are a board member reading this: you have never had a more pivotal moment to act than now. Pathfinder's reputation is crumbling. What a horrible way to celebrate its 60th anniversary. Many of us have left, but we still hope that Pathfinder can be saved.


  7. Helpful (20)

    "Former employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watertown, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watertown, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pathfinder International full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Out early on Fridays and great group to work with before the layoff

    Cons

    As soon as the the new President arrived things went down hill fast. We thought we could trust her but she proved that wrong. She does not care about people only money.

    Advice to Management

    Stop letting go of good people only to turn and replace them weeks later. Shame on you.

  8. Helpful (24)

    "Dancing bears"

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

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

    Pros

    There used to be a lot of pros about Pathfinder. That is history.

    Cons

    Let's start with dancing bears. The CEO asked country directors to "perform" song or dance for the board of directors - mind you, the country directors (host country nationals) are experienced public health professionals, doctors, midwives, PHDs etc. Sing and dance, really?? This is offensive, and in itself is reason for the CEO to step down. Inexcusable for the "leader" of an international development organization.

    And then it gets worse. All the experienced, executive staff that drove Pathfinder's mission (and impact) are gone, or have been demoted. This in addition to dismissing 30 or so staff early in the game, thus creating an environment of fear and loathing. Now we all want to leave, and the job searches are well known. Pathfinder has lost it's footing.

    Advice to Management

    Remember that what works in the corporate boardroom doesn't work in international development. You wouldn't hire a plumber to fix your house's electrical system, so why hire leadership that has only (profitably) lived for the bottom line to "lead" an organization that is driven by a humanitarian mission. Time for a reset, and the sooner the better.


  9. Helpful (16)

    "Pathfinder is losing its commitment to women's rights and agency"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pathfinder International full-time

    Pros

    Some of the work done in the field offices is excellent and they deserve support from HQ that they are not getting with the new regime.

    Cons

    It used to be one of the agencies that was courageous and pro-active in addressing sexual and reproductive rights within its programming and in its advocacy in Washington and internationally. It is now waffling on this. Over 30 seasoned people have been excessed in the past year with either no replacement, or replacing with very young, inexperienced staff who don't have the skills to support the field offices to develop strategy. They cost less and don't have strong opinions which the current leadership likes.

    Advice to Management

    Change the leadership. Find people who truly understand and are committed to rights which are fundamental to sexual and reproductive health.


  10. Helpful (20)

    "Colonial Overlays"

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

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

    Pros

    Mission, Committed Staff and Good Benefits!!

    Cons

    Colonial Overlays - is right! Refer to the Devex article. I am happy the CEO and one of the main culprits of this "behavior" recognizes that this organization is thriving on the backs of "others". If a leader identifies from the onset of joining an organization that "colonial" behaviors are prevalent, it would be appropriate to intervene and rectify "it" as #1 priority. Instead a request is sent to country leaders, high performing intellectuals and they are asked to "dance, sing or perform" before the board of directors. Choosing to fly the country directors to HQ and asked them to perform, instead of asking them to educate the board of directors on the challenges faced and impact for which Pathfinders all over the world work hard to achieve. I am incensed to work for an organization that would ask its top leaders ( Engineers, Doctors, etc) to fly to HQ and perform. That has "Colonial Overlays" and I believe it is an insult. When staff from HQ travel to Pathfinder offices all over the world, they have never been asked to perform - instead they find creative ways to collaborate and innovate. Cultural sensitivity is most definitely needed among the leaders at Pathfinder HQ, primarily among the executive team - which lacks real diversity.

    Advice to Management

    Ask your qualified field staff to lead the organization in what they consider the needs to be put the organization back on track, instead of asking them to sing or dance. Above all be respectful of each Pathfinder and don't assume they are part of an exhibit, measure them by their countless contributions, extensive experience and education merits.


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