Polaris Project Reviews | Glassdoor

Polaris Project Reviews

Updated April 7, 2017
19 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

2.9
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Bradley Myles
12 Ratings

19 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Hotline Advocate"

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

    I have been working at Polaris Project part-time

    Pros

    The people at the organization are very passionate and caring.

    Cons

    High turnover in position due to nature of work.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Don't recommend. Surface-level approach to tackling human trafficking. New CEO?"

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

    I have been working at Polaris Project full-time

    Pros

    Passionate coworkers. People are very knowledgeable on issue. Polaris is very well-known and gets a lot of funding and attention in the field.

    Cons

    Little opportunities for growth for junior level staff. Micromanaging leadership, and people on the executive team are all leaving. CEO seems to be out of touch with day to day realities of working here, and seems to chase the spotlight.

    There needs to be more diversity in senior management, and the organization needs to not focus so much disproportionately on sex trafficking.

    I feel very disempowered at work, but I care about the issue.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Toxic environment"

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

    I worked at Polaris Project part-time

    Pros

    The work can be incredibly rewarding. If you want to work in the anti-trafficking field, Polaris is still the best and have the most name-recognition.

    Cons

    The organization has expanded its work, but it seems to have growing pains. Salaries and benefits do not reflect the size of the organization, and management seems disconnected. I do not expect the CEO to know everyone's name, but the lack of engagement with junior staff was surprising at a non-profit.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on work environment. Do a salary and/or benefits survey to see how you stack up against non-profits with similar staff size. And stop relying on 20-30 unpaid fellows on such a large portion of the staff makes the environment demoralizing.


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Good People, Wrong CEO"

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

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

    Pros

    Great brand--they are very well known in the anti-trafficking field. As the organization given the rights to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, they are always present as part of an coalition or partnership in this area. As they frequent remind staff, Polaris is the leader of the US trafficking movement.

    Money: Money is constantly flowing into the organization with a new big many-million $ donation announced all the time.

    Cons

    The current CEO is not the right person to be leading the organization any more. He is not respected as a leader and does nothing to earn that respect. Anything he is directly involved with does not really go well and he tries to be involved in far too much. His proposed solutions to anything often become the proof that he does not really understand the problem being addressed. He's disrespectful of women, often talking over them in meetings. There is too much to list--it is time to move beyond a founder and let the rest of the management team run the show.

    Smart people seem to come into the organization then quickly out of the organization because of the lack of money and investment in the existing work--all money seems to go to new expansions and not to getting the existing work done. This means there are very few opportunities for junior staff to advance and grow in their programs. Even experienced senior staff brought in to balance CEO deficiencies are leaving frustrated.

    Pay: Polaris should pay better across all positions to get and keep good people who work every day to achieve the outcomes that helps bring in all that money.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on what you have and stop trying to do everything.
    Polaris is supposed to be anti-trafficking--stop pushing the anti-sex worker agenda on the organization.
    Pay people better and eliminate the part-time positions.
    Share the wealth with other anti-trafficking organizations in the field.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Incredible work, Mediocre work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Hotline Advocate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Hotline Advocate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The work is very rewarding and the majority of staff are dedicated and passionate. Benefits are excellent. Most managers are genuinely committed to the development and fulfillment of employees.

    Cons

    Most employees are disillusioned with pretty negative outlooks due to an unnecessarily competitive and divisive working environment.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Great benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anti-trafficking Hotline Advocate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anti-trafficking Hotline Advocate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Polaris Project (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good people, excellent benefits, results oriented

    Cons

    Little diversity in management, limited growth opportunity


  7. "Great and inspiring place to work!"

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

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

    Pros

    Awesome colleagues who care about the issue
    Wellness focused work environment
    Supportive management
    Ability to learn and directly influence the field
    Great benefits
    Easily accessible executive team. No one is out of reach.

    Cons

    For the amount of work that each team member does, salary does not quite supplement

    Advice to Management

    none as of right now

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great colleagues"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Polaris Project (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great colleagues, awesome work being done

    Cons

    Leadership is not experienced enough


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Fellowship Experience"

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

    I worked at Polaris Project (Less than a year)

    Pros

    • Overall, the fellowship was a great experience, but I regret giving up my full-time job to do it. Usually fellowships are paid, but these aren't. I knew that going in, though; but I think they should retitle their program as an internship program. The anti-trafficking field is pretty small within the nonprofit community, so there aren't a wide range of opportunities to gain experience without going through an unpaid internship, through an organization like Polaris Project.

    • The quality of the fellowship experience really depended on your manager and department. Luckily, I had a fantastic manager and learned a lot from her.

    • Overall, the staff are very talented and compassionate people. The upper management, though, is a different story.

    Cons

    • For an anti-slavery organization, I think it's tragically ironic (and frankly, wrong) that the majority of their organization is powered by unpaid labor (i.e., the fellows/interns).

    • I think it particularly was messed up that during my time there, some of the fellows were tasked to plan the office holiday party, but none of the fellows were invited or included in the party itself, because inviting the fellows would cost more money. This, to me, was a clear signal that the fellows were just the unpaid help, from the eyes of the management.

    • Organization wants to grow more, but can't manage to keep the staff they have now, or function well as it is.

    Advice to Management

    Look at your turnover rates overall, and start treating all your staff and fellows equally, and secure some funding to at least provide health insurance for your fellows. A $50/month Metro stipend isn't going to cut it.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Dedicated, amazing colleagues, oppressive and destructive management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Polaris Project (More than a year)

    Pros

    Having worked in the anti-trafficking and domestic violence field in my hometown, I was thrilled to be around other colleagues from other parts of the US who were talented, dedicated and brilliant. The other people doing fellowships and working at Polaris in non-management positions were amazing and I know that many of them have gone on to continue to do amazing work in the field or related fields elsewhere.

    Cons

    As said by others, it's appalling that an organization that works in preventing and combating labor exploitation and trafficking in the US can be so color-blind, oppressive and exploitative. The staff are not paid with sufficient wage to make this their only job. Many people there were either trust-fund recipients or had their parents paying their rent through their unpaid internship or fellowship or job. I will never forget one day when an employee that had to hold down 2 jobs to afford rent broke down sobbing because management refused to give her even a moderate raise. What else is the result of this? The management is extremely white, wealthy and privileged. They are completely out of touch with the communities that trafficking takes place in. So many of my colleagues and I, from more diverse statewide organizations would try to point out culturally-appropriate changes they could make in combating trafficking and were we listened to? No. I would STRONGLY recommend working for other national trafficking organizations that are led by people of color or have more diverse staff - especially if you really want to make a difference in trafficking.

    Advice to Management

    Nearly all of the executive management should be replaced. One particular woman has offended and turned off so many people over the years that the reputation is becoming well known across the field for her ineffectiveness. Focus on development to practice what is preached i.e. living wage for your workers. How is oppression such as trafficking going to change if the leaders of the change movement don't really know how to practice the solution both personally and institutionally?


Showing 19 of 23 reviews
Reset Filters