The Native Women's Association of Canada
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The Native Women's Association of Canada - Avis

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Management constantly firing and hiring new staff when any type of complaint is made. Management abuses power and mismanages funding. Constant burnout and poor mental health reported by many of the staff when I worked here.
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I was offered a position with the organization after going through two interviews. However, the salary offered was ridiculously low. (I ended up declining and accepting $20k more elsewhere for the same role). In lieu of the low salary, they offered me an entry law position that they said was yet to be posted. I accepted that offer for the value of experience (I am a lawyer), but when accepted they 'changed' the offer (e.g. 'oops, we didn't mean that'). Suffice to say, I ultimately declined because of the low salary and very unprofessional conduct of the organization. It is a pity because I truly would have done an excellent job helping them and was passionate about the work! I hope the culture, professionalism, and salary significantly improves. In addition, even in the interview stage, I saw unprofessional/disorganized conduct. For example, they were supposed to have emailed me a document for the interview but I didn't relieve or find out until just prior to the interview because a 'mistake' was made. That should have been an early red flag. I agree with other comments. Unfortunately, if you approach this organization be prepared to deal with this sort of practice regularly.
Points positifs
Could be meaningful work
Points négatifs
Unprofessional
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I really hope applicants here do some research on NWAC and the CEO before deciding to apply or accept an offer here. On its face, the organization is great - you feel as though the work has value - but it is so wildly disillusioning when you realize what a toxic space it is. NWAC does not live up to its own values at all. I know personally of several colleagues who struggled with serious mental health issues because of the environment, in addition to the physical symptoms of chronic, unmitigated stress.
Points positifs
Working with many strong women, before they were all fired or forced to quit.
Points négatifs
Management
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The new managers are professional and experienced. There is an all staff stand up meeting every two weeks. Information is shared and staff have an opportunity to ask questions. Three inhouse Elders are available to provide support when needed. NWAC has good benefits, EPA, short term disability, pension, eyeglasses and dental. There is very interesting work being done in the health, international, and policy units. The organization is experiencing significant growth and new staff is being hired. The hardest part of the job is the sudden changes and increase in work due to project approvals.
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Coworkers are friendly and supportive, in my experience my work-life balance has been respected and encouraged. Senior managers and the CEO who work long hours don't expect me to do so, and almost all emails and requests I receive can wait until the workday starts. In areas where I didn't have experience my supervisor was very understanding and didn't expect me to somehow know what I was doing, they talked me through the reasoning for different approaches and have helped me learn. One challenge is the way we are funded, so much funding is locked into specific projects and the funding fluctuates. NWAC has signed multi-year agreements that have helped and has also updated finance and HR policies to make things easier and smoother. Our HR and Finance team are really fantastic, and they are making things run a lot smoother than before. I have seen a lot of progress being made, and see that NWAC is still building capacity and improving internal processes. I am excited to see where we are in a year or two.
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Power is highly centralized around the CEO; this circle is impenetrable by other staff. Communication is non-existent, jobs are insecure, compensation is laughable. This organization is hemorrhaging staff every week, either because they quit or are fired unceremoniously. Toxic environment.
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A leading national organization should be setting the standards for other organizations, but that is definitely not the case. While NWAC claims to be the voice of Indigenous women across Canada, its own Indigenous women are the ones who suffer the most. During my years at NWAC I saw the CEO verbally, emotionally and mentally abuse staff, especially those who cared for the cause and put in a lot of hard work. Boundaries do not exist and staff are harassed by calls and emails, or contacted at ridiculous hours because of "emergencies." These emergencies stem from the lack of organization and communication throughout the organization, and the CEO not trusting her staff to plan ahead or take incentive. Recommendations from staff which would help the organization excel are dismissed and the staff is later accused of not coming up with these recommendations. Tasks are micromanaged by the CEO and her management team rather than delegated by Directors for an effective workflow. Said management team does not have the interest of the staff or organization at heart, rather they help the CEO gain as much power regardless of who is harmed. Under the current leadership, NWAC will continue to be home to lateral violence and will continue to see a turnover rate which prevents the organization from properly running. Staff are constantly on stress leave because of the work environment and the organization does not make their return easier. During the last year alone, over 30 staff were forced to quit, or unceremoniously fired. This includes staff that openly disagreed with the CEO - plus...
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It was a very rough experience working here for almost 3 years. Staff turnover was high and morale was always low. Structure is always changing and saw a lot of employees who were Indigenous women being treated very poorly. Some do well in this environment and those who do have similar corporate values to the CEO and are there to advanced their own careers on the backs of others. Would not recommend applying if you think youre going to make a difference.
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Power is highly centralized around the CEO; this circle is impenetrable by other staff. Communication is non-existent, jobs are insecure, compensation is laughable. This organization is hemorrhaging staff every week, either because they quit or are fired unceremoniously. Toxic environment.
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This is a very challenging place to work if you’re someone who is actually passionate about the advocacy work they’re supposed to be doing. If you just care about a paycheck you might be fine. People are hired into management positions who know little to nothing about Indigenous issues, and much of the work falls to underpaid overworked younger staff. When staff bring valid concerns to management, they are dismissed, ignored, or the staff is let go.
Points négatifs
Overworked staff, lots of overtime, staff morale low, CEO & management do not listen to staff complaints
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This is a great place to work for in relation to other worplaces i have been to with a great cause to fight for requiring people with the desire to make a difference. The CEO of tne Association is great. She was named one of Women’s Executive Network (WXN) 2018 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner presented by KPMG.
Points positifs
Great cause, lots of talent in the workplace, some benefits offered are better than Govt, great office location with very nice in-close offices, lots of national and international work.
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Staff are underpaid and overworked. There is little to no job security- with a high level of turnover. Staff are constantly worried about being fired. Management is incompetent, which leads to last minute demands and work falling on underpaid junior staff. This organization is supposed to be an advocacy org for Indigenous women, but there are currently very little Indigenous women working there and most of the management positions are held by non Indigenous men and women. Workplace culture is very toxic. Would not recommend applying here at the moment.
Points positifs
Dedicated staff, working for a good cause (apparently?)
Points négatifs
Underpaid, no job security, lots of overtime
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Poor management and direction. Very little room for growth or work-life balance. Communication between staff and units is completely broken. Under-qualified staff in positions of management who have no clue what they are doing while over-qualified staff are under paid and over worked. This continues to be the pattern even with high turnover.
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