Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives and Achievements

Examination of and Reconciliation with Our Early History: Pathfinder commissioned an independent consultant to thoroughly examine the activities and statements of our late founder, Dr. Clarence Gamble. The review confirmed Gamble’s undeniable involvement in the practice of eugenics through the first half of the twentieth century and coinciding with the founding of Pathfinder. Our racial justice working group reviewed the findings, analysis, and counsel; facilitated difficult conversations with staff; and will make recommendations about how best to use these insights. We are committed to incorporating these recommendations into Pathfinder operations and strategy as steps to rectify our history while continuing to achieve our mission.

Country-Led Strategy: We are taking steps under our country-led strategy to create a more equitable organization. We are putting more power in the hands of the people closest to our programs by investing in the capacity of our country offices outside of the US to assume more significant operational and decision-making authorities. This strategy seeks to advance country-led solutions to achieving universal sexual and reproductive health rights and services deeply rooted in a local understanding and know-how.

Board Diversity: We are vigorously working to broaden and diversify our board of directors. Over the 2021 calendar year, the board elected six new board members with clinical, policy, and leadership expertise in several African and Asian countries. These appointments reflect the board’s commitment to recruit new members with deep geopolitical perspectives and increased geographical and professional diversity.

Diversity Statement for Procurement: Pathfinder’s DEI strategy includes a focus on applying DEI principles to the organization’s relationships with partners and vendors. In March of 2021, Pathfinder’s Grants, Contracts, and Procurement Business Unit developed a Diversity Statement for Procurement stating Pathfinder’s commitment to a diverse supplier pool.

Gender Equity Strategy: Pathfinder comprehensively assessed the state of gender equity, both through its programs and internal structures, systems, and policies that comprise our operations in 17 countries. The assessment informed our Gender Equity Strategy (2021-24). This strategy codifies our shared commitment to gender equity and outlines practical steps toward fostering greater gender equity across our programs and throughout our organization. We have taken several key steps toward implementing the strategy including adopting a new, inclusive definition of gender and holding learning events where staff learn key concepts related to gender and discuss how gender influences Pathfinder’s operations and programs.

Policies and Benefits: Advancing equity-based policies and practices is an essential part of Pathfinder International’s DEI Program and reflects the integration of DEI principles into Pathfinder’s culture. Several of Pathfinder’s policies promote an inclusive workforce and workplace, including its Code of Conduct and Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy, which are reviewed with staff annually.

Pathfinder’s benefits policies include gender-equitable health care and leave policies that account for the needs of working mothers, and employees of all genders. Pathfinder is currently working to establish minimum paid-time-off parental leave policies across all its country offices. Pathfinder strives to provide the most valuable, cost-effective, and comprehensive gender-inclusive employee benefits.

Language Support: Pathfinder’s Translation Task Force works to ensure that staff have access to the materials and information that they need to do their work, and that staff can communicate in their preferred language as much as possible.

Communications and Branding: Pathfinder’s Communications and Branding Guidelines include directives on how to use photographs and imagery respectfully, including obtaining the consent of subjects, use of contextually relevant photographs, and use of identifying information when appropriate. The guidelines also include email signature templates for Pathfinder staff to communicate their gender identity and pronouns.  Pathfinder is in the process of updating its style guide to include terminology and guidance that reflects the more equitable and inclusive power dynamics we are trying to achieve through our country-led strategy.