Population Services International Employee Reviews about "junior staff"
Updated Aug 21, 2020
Found 14 of over 427 reviews
- Most Recent
- Highest Rating
- Lowest Rating
What are your colleagues talking about?
Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
- "The people are great and I spend lots of time at work laughing with my team." (in 34 reviews)
- "Great benefits for all employees" (in 18 reviews)
- "great culture" (in 13 reviews)
- "Working with PSI was a great opportunity in the development of my profession." (in 9 reviews)
- "they have friendly staffs at Population Service International." (in 8 reviews)
- "Low salaries, so negociate very well when you get your first job in the company." (in 12 reviews)
- "Disjointed management." (in 12 reviews)
- "Procurement a d Finace team needs to have better leadership" (in 11 reviews)
- "Just because someone has the title of manager it does not mean that they are a good manager." (in 10 reviews)
- "Average pay compared to the others NGOs working in the same field for locally" (in 6 reviews)
Ratings by Demographics
This rating reflects the overall rating of Population Services International and is not affected by filters.
- Race / Ethnicity
- Sexual Orientation
- Parent or Family Caregiver
- Veteran Status
Reviews about "junior staff"Return to all Reviews
- Former Employee, more than 3 years★★★★★
AssociateNov 19, 2019 - Associate in Washington, DCRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
To be honest, PSI's reviews on Glassdoor aren't fair nor accurate. With any place, especially an NGO, there are going to be cons. And the cons are going to be the same - low entry level pay, long hours, autonomous environment, etc. The people who are writing these long, negative, and such personal reviews aren't looking at general PSI culture/environment; they are looking at such unique off-hand experiences. PSI has a very honest and genuine environment. There is no other place you will find where the Executive team gives two cares about what an intern or entry level staffer thinks. PSI might not be perfect, but they have the right people - the high up important people - taking time out of their days to sit down and talk to that intern and brainstorm how to make junior level staff feel valued and not overworked. You're trying to tell me that it's normal and the culture at Fortune 500 companies for the CEO to go on a walk around the block with a 22 year old Program Assistant? Karl does that. Diversity. Again, there is always room for improvement. But there's also perspective. We have women on our executive team and more women in VP/Director level positions than men. We had a female African American CHRO. She wasn't asked to leave by white men and she didn't leave because she felt threatened as a black woman. She left because of personal familial reasons, having nothing to do with PSI at all. The HR team is incredibly diverse - made up of whites, blacks, asians, hispanics, middle easterners. If you're 22, trying to make $100,000, then yes you are correct, PSI is not the place for you. PSI's COO, she started off 15 years ago as a junior staff making pennies, and now she is the COO definitely making more than that. It's called working hard and moving up. No one is 'bullied' here. And for all those current staffers taking to Glassdoor to write these reviews about your personal vendettas, find a new job or stand up at the next All Company meeting reading your review out loud. Not quite sure what you're expecting by publicly bashing the company you currently work for?
Reference above comments from "pros" section.Continue reading
- Current Employee, more than 3 years★★★★★
Do great work until you can't take it anymore.Jun 30, 2016 - DC Associate in Washington, DCRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
There are many great things about PSI, but here I'll focus on two. First of all, the people who work at PSI are smart, passionate, and committed to increasing choice, access, and knowledge of health products and services for those who need them most (not "helping the poor."). This combination means that PSI runs very effective programs that achieve real change, and they do it mostly without the paternalistic overtones seen at many other NGOs. The second is that PSI truly values innovation and evidence. This again comes through in some of its best international work, but is also true in the day to day office environment. If you have a good idea and can prove that it's a good idea- you are given the opportunity to try it out and see where it will lead. That flexibility and trust makes PSI a great place to work and grow.
From a people perspective, the most disappointing issue I see is that PSI as an organization does not value its junior level staff. I've been told on many occasions that junior staff are replaceable, that if one leaves 'we'll receive 200 more applications within a week,' that management frequently 'forget that junior staff exist,' and that the only junior staff worth paying attention to will rise to the top anyway. This manifests in PSI's day to day culture as well. It can be difficult for junior staff to get responses to emails from more senior staff, senior staff are often late or don't show up to meetings held by junior staff, initiatives started by junior staff are marginalized, and senior staff talk over or throw out the meeting plans of more junior staff. Add to this that there are very few defined career paths at PSI, it can be hard for junior staff to find mentors and advocates, and there is a prevailing seevailing seevailing sense that one has to leave PSI and come back in order to advance on the totem pole. It is no secret that no one works at PSI for the money alone, so it should come as no surprise that time and time again talented and passionate junior staff who love PSI and the work we do hit a wall, realize they deserve better than what they are getting at PSI, and leave. I realize that not everyone who begins a career at PSI will stay, but this turnover represents a huge amount of lost talent and potential for PSI, demotivates those who are left behind, and wastes uncounted sums of time and money finding, hiring, and retraining for each position.Continue reading
- Current Employee, more than 3 years★★★★★
Worst NGO you could possibly work forOct 14, 2019 - Program Manager in Washington, DCRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
None. PSI is a H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E place to work. After the initial “high” of working for a company that is apparently known for “getting stuff done” you realize it’s a soul sucking, inefficient, racist, colonizing institution with no intention of changing. C Suite, when are you going to do something about it? Thanks for the 1:1s and the “open door policy” but how many Glassdoor or Ethics Review Point submissions do you need? You did an internal anonymous review and completely disregarded and invalidated all of our concerns. The results clearly show that we are unhappy, have low morale, and are tired of poor management. Your response- “I know you’re unhappy because we just renovated the office and change is hard” like we’re all 4 years olds. What a slap in the face. If you want to join PSI after reading this, my only advice is that the NBD and LAC/Asia teams are the only two that seem to be happy. LAC/Asia team doesn’t go a day without praising their Sr. Regional Director to literally anyone who will listen. Staff on both teams get awesome opportunities! The east africa team was also good before it merged.
Pay is an absolute insult. Those who started at PSI in its heyday are the folks who get promoted to Director of [random new department that does nothing] or VP on a given Tuesday, but PSI “can’t afford” offer junior/ newly mid-level staff a living wage for DC. The number of staff that have second or third jobs is exorbitant. My favorite part of the year is when the director, excuse me I mean VP, sends an email encouraging us to fill out our time sheet with our “true” hours worked. PSI works people to death. Burnout is real. The two people at PSI who basically took it upon themselves to keep morale up left with no jobs lined up. That should tell you something. · Bureaucracy! You can’t get anything done without passing it through 50 people to “chime in”. We get nowhere because everyone wants to be involved but no one wants to push it to the finish line. They just complain and/or spend 4 months saying they’ll read it, get to it a year later and then decide we should go in a completely different direction. This is why we go nowhere. · PSI is racist, xenophobic, and patriarchal, and it’s time that this is called out and addressed. There’s a particular department where most of their junior-newly mid-level staff were people of color and guess what… they’ve all left due to the covert and blatant racism within the department and organization. One intern in particular said “PSI is not a place for women of color” when she left which was painful to hear because the whole point of this DISGRACE of an organization is to empower women of color, yet the ones working here have to leave because it's RACIST and their mental health is at stake. White privilege is so rampant here and that’s probably why the one time we got a black C-Suite member (who we all LOVED) she ran out of here in less than 4 months. They just wanted her to clean up the mess they had made. People of color here get paid less than everyone else in their position or the ones who start with less experience and/or education. Their ideas aren’t heard. They’re looked over constantly and told to wait indefinitely for opportunities that white staff just demand and receive. They can’t advocate for themselves without their team saying they’re “angry” “aggressive” “bringing down the vibe”, etc. And worst of all, they’re only brought into the room when a donor is visiting and it’s glaringly obvious that their team is completely white. I can’t even call out a department here but it’s ALL of them that do this! Then they disguise it as an opportunity for you to grow meanwhile they’ve shot down all of your requests for real professional development all year. POCs at PSI are tokens and that’s it. · The silos make it hard to work in-country and on the PMTs (regional HQ teams). Certain projects (cough cough FP) REFUSE to understand that they are NOT THE ONLY PROJECT these countries have and impose insane deadlines and timelines as if they pay for 100% of our time. Then their teams send passive aggressive or just plain INSULTING emails to PMTs and country staff, call us incompetent behind our backs and chastise our in-country staff for not understanding their kindergarten level, google translate French and Spanish. Or they get upset when no one in-country wants to participate in their silly extracurricular “initiatives” and “challenges” they do to keep themselves busy because they dump all the REAL work on the PMTs. PMTs get no contact with the donor but we’re chastised when our funding gets cut or bids don’t get won but the teams who actually work directly with the donor are consoled by their directors when they can’t even perform simple stakeholder engagement. · Management is so bad it’s scary. Managers are evaluated without input from their supervisees. 50% of your job is to supervise someone and yet that person isn’t included in evaluations – ridiculous. How does that contribute to building capacity? How does that support any staff? Just because someone has the title of manager it does not mean that they are a good manager. We just started a year-long program called “Great Manager’s Training” that is completely useless. It takes a year to figure out that you shouldn't bully your staff? Sr level managers (several who have already taken this training) berate and scream at their staff and give opportunities to only the people who kiss up to them or ignore the abuse. Newly minted managers treat their interns and program assistants like their house-keepers/personal secretaries and as a manager myself it’s so sad to watch. If your manager wants you out, they will find a way to put you on a performance improvement plan (PIP)—which heads up is PSI’s way of kicking you out, but legally. (Looking at you WCA/Global Fund Unit! The fact that people can count how many people of color you’ve bullied and pushed out of your department alone, you should be ashamed). Want a promotion? Get in line. If your manager doesn’t like you, you’re screwed. If your manager likes you but doesn’t want to advocate for you. You’re screwed. If your manager likes you, but no one likes your manager… You’re screwed. Think it’s a good idea to go to HR? Ha! Anything that involves HR is pure unfiltered trash. So yes ladies, gents, and non-binaries you’re ... you guessed it … SCREWED. There are also certain managers who don’t want you to grow before they do, so they stifle your opportunities. · A number of senior level people are paid 100K+ to work remotely in low cost of living cities as we struggle to keep our head above water in DC with wages for people with masters starting at 40K. Interns to APMs are often running out of work by 4:45pm to make their next shift at some bar, restaurant, yoga studio, etc. But will be online at 10pm to continue working on things way above their pay grade. As a PM, I try to advocate for my junior staff but conversations with HR go nowhere. I've even had to help another staff find a higher paying job because they couldn't afford cost of living. · PSI loves the word “strategy” and does not understand what this entails. We have a new one every week. We spend months throwing buzz words and spend 1000s of dollars sending people abroad to roll out the new strategy of the month that no one understands. People that have no sense of cultural competency and yell at field staff or don't even know how to communicate with 'those people' (as they say). They say that the countries are always behind, but HQ never involves them in anything, nothing is ever translated into their languages (especially our Portuguese staff) and instead of the 3 year roll out process at HQ, country staff get a 3 day workshop with a facilitator that has a 1st grade understanding of Spanish/French, an hour Skype for Business phone call where the first 59 minutes we're trying to connect, and an email that promises more information about the 'strategy' that will never come. But the problem is definitely 'them' being difficult not HQ, right? The xenophobia is striking. · They have entire project teams serving Africa, Asia, and LAC with NO team members who are African, Asian, or Latinx. And when they do have them, they fly out the door after they realize what kind of place PSI is). As a POC, if you speak up or have an opinion you are considered aggressive. If a white person does it, it’s more “Jane has so much initiative! What an asset to the team.” If a POC questions anything or advocates for anything they are “too direct”, “childish”, or “emotional” even. They even have to apologize to white staff for their white tears. But when a white person does it and is even seen among other staff as being rude or condescending, senior staff see it as “Adam is a leader… haha he’s so blunt and direct but that’s just his nature!” · Work life balance does not exist and is looked down upon. Unless you’re a director/VP because they’re on vacation 6 months out of the year. Oops, I mean “speaking” at a “conference”. · PSI rolled out a salary matrix almost 2 years ago and HR still can’t explain it. They claim that they do equity reviews to ensure equality across gender and individual experience but they pick the lowest starting number for every position. (Except if you are male.) There is no negotiation…unless you have a manager that is willing to fight for you, but as I mentioned before that is usually never the case. · If you decide to work at PSI, after a couple months the initial excitement disappears because you realize there is no sense of knowledge management. You are basically starting from scratch. There is inadequate training, superficial introductory meetings and no follow up. All the turn over isn’t helping either. Every week there is a ridiculously cringy email of someone thanking PSI for their time (read: burn out) and to please keep in touch (No thanks.)Continue reading
- Current Employee, more than 1 year★★★★★
Morale is Low, Inequitable PayJun 29, 2016 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Interns are often hired with several tracks for upward mobility. And if you can get there, life's nice at the top.
PSI exemplifies the national wage gap; amongst senior staff, salaries are extremely generous, whereas amongst more junior staff, salaries are below average. Looking at the “lower ranks,” wherein the majority of PSI employees reside; e.g. Program Assistant ($39k), Program Coordinator ($44k), Associate Program Manager ($49k), Program Manager ($65k) and Technical Advisor ($70k), salaries are consistently reported as lower than those at peer organizations. This would not be a problem in and of itself, if it were not for the ability to compare to the salaries of those in the “upper ranks” where a massive jump is seen (the numbers below are from PSI’s 2013 tax records - Form 990 is public record): • CEO $443k • COO $391k • CFO $362k • CLO $363k • Sr VP $324 • Sr VP $317k • Sr VP $313k • Sr Country Rep $310k • Sr Country Rep $267k • Country Rep $250k • CSO $242k By the way, 8 of 11 of those pertain to white males. It gets worse; looking at PSI’s competitors, taking the position of CFO because it was most consistently reported: • In 2013 the PSI CFO was paid $362k. In the same year, World Vision, whose annual operating budget is $400m greater than PSI’s, paid theirs $272k. FHI360 with a similar operating budget to PSI, $315k. Organizations with smaller budgets but similar reputation: PATH $285k; Plan International $180k; Marie Stopes International $300k. (Interestingly, PSI’s CEO is an exception and is paid less than the industry average. And it must be noted that many of the senior positions are held by career-PSI staff whose salaries reflect over a decade of commitment to the organization.) The top-heavy stature of PSI is particularly demoralizing given the performance of some of those best paid; Global Marketing is led with intimidation and suppression, Corporate Partnerships and Philanthropy with elitism, superficiality and discrimination. Employer contribution towards retirement is generous, however the plan takes 5 years of employment before being fully vested; this makes it far less accessible to junior staff who have less stability and are more likely to require higher education. Seeking retention makes sense, but a 5-year policy highly favors senior level staff whose positions are typically longer term and for whom PSI contributes a far greater amount. While PSI understandably needs to compensate well to attract top performers, PSI’s competitiveness shouldn’t be limited to the upper ranks of the organization. Morale is low; many staff within the junior ranks are seeking to exit.Morale is low; many staff within the junior ranks are seeking to exit.Morale is low; many staff within the junior ranks are seeking to exit. PSI risks a bleak future as young talent and mid-level seek opportunities elsewhere where pay is better, or simply more equitable.Continue reading
- Current Employee★★★★★
Program ManagementAug 4, 2015 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
PSI is lucky to have dedicated and hard working staff.
No transparency in systems. People's Department is almost invisible to middle and junior staff and happy to cater to senior management and directors.No serious attempt for employee moral boosting or talent retention. Outdated Policies and all work on whims of departmental directors.Continue reading
- Current Employee, more than 3 years★★★★★
Avoid if possible...Dec 10, 2018 - Associate Program Manager in Washington, DCRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Great place to get an understanding of public health and development work. I’ve made lifetime friendship with some amazing people! That and the drive and passion that unites all of us is why I stay, and I suspect it’s the same for many others. Would I recommend it to friends? Few departments, yes. Others, I wouldn’t recommend to my worst enemy
Grab a cuppa because there is unfortunately a bunch: Take heed and believe when other reviewers say there is a propensity to bully: there are instances of blatant bullying that’s I’ve witnessed and experienced myself, and absolutely nothing was done. Higher ups witness it as well and pretend to not see anything, complaints are tossed out and you’re made to feel like you’re the issue. There are departments (certain regional department - ask around there is one that is know as the problem child) where staff get fired, reprimanded or ridiculed for making the same errors that others in other departments have made countless times with no consequences. Junior staff are treated like dog doodoo on the sole of middle to upper management. You are underpaid but overworked and on top of that there is an instilled fear of losing your job They’ll work you like a mule only to blame you for their errors and take ownership of your successes Your manager makes your career – you will have some managers (claps for Southern Africa and East Africa) who are so involved into your professional growth and make sure there is equity in opportunities awarded to all their supervisees. Then there are the mean managers (clap for yourselves, you know who you are) – If you have one of those, they will break you, make you feel worthless, undervalued and underappreciated, etc. God forbid they’re with the in crowd! Basic criteria for promotion or advancement is to agree with them blindly – How dare you have you own opinions on anything! Managers often time have not received training on how to be a great leader, they have zero knowledge of people management and are not required to learn Supervisee opinions on their supervisors are not asked, talk less of taken into consideration. In the 3 years I’ve worked here, I have been asked just once about a supervisor’s performance. And even that was useless as said supervisor was able to strike down any negative feedback on their performance. There is supposedly a non-retaliation policy that is complete doodoo, a sad sad joke – every complain, supposedly confidential will get discovered (because HR… sigh... that’s another point I’ll make below) and you will be retaliated against. HR is truly the biggest joke – there is no privacy or confidentiality whatsoever, and they end up getting you in more trouble than you were before you reached out to them to help. Case in point: junior staff complains about bullying manager, not long after, HR calls meeting with staff and said manager about Manager’s sudden complain about staff performance, staff gets reprimanded for poor performance, staff gets fired for poor performance. Staff if fired without once having a separate conversation to delve into bullying and manager never once gets a talk to about bullying. Manager is still employed by the way and situation is repeating. Someone else mentioned the rampant toxic environment at PSI – I wholeheartedly agree. the only thing I disagree about is the it being most prevalent in Senior managers and director levels. This starts with managers, who play the blame game and are quick to throw their subordinates under the bus and/or encourage their subordinates to throw each other under the bus! This is even more so intense at the senior manager and director level. Lots of turnover – every day a new person, new eager faces are introduced to you. It’s sad to see how those eager faces change in the course of the year, if they last that long. Up until a couple of months ago, there wasn’t an onboarding process! I know! Unbelievable but true! It’s a baptism by fire here meaning you’re thrown into a burning building your first day and expected to come out victorious. There’s actual shock when you fail at something you were never trained on! and you’re given looks for asking things you’re supposed to know but didn’t. The systems are totally out of date – like we’re literally just now getting excited about SharePoint for example when others have been using it for years and have even moved on. PSI is king of reinventing themselves – same old outdated ideas covered up with shiny brand-new names and taglines. Also great at putting band aids to cover up infected wounds. Recently made changes to the names of regions we operate in, a whole overhaul of portfolios and such, as if that would solve the deeper issues staff deal with. It’s the biggest waste of funds, the biggest joke between staff and the topic for water cooler conversations. Feedback on performance varies greatly depending on your department! There are different standards for performance for the same roles. Feedback isn’t given in a constructive manner – if the goal is to help you grow and develop professionally, there should be an emphasis on this. But there isn’t, as such it’s hard to further your career goals or feel empowered If you are interested in a technical position, try to get your foot in the door as such rather than getting in through a regional department. It’s very hard to match the switch and you’ll be stuck with admin work. It’s common practice to have people with MPHs doing admin work. I personally know one who escaped West and Central Africa for a position with a core technical team. As they put it, it required herculean efforts and years of being unhappy and unfulfilled. Salaries for entry/mid level staff are not on part with similar organizations – it’s clear you don’t work for a non-profit to makes big bucks – not this is not the case for upper management and C-Suite. We had an intern send a company-wide email asking for people’s leftovers, that tells all.Continue reading