Diverse Hiring Practices and Opportunities Create a Strong Global Workforce at Chemonics
After graduating from Howard University in 2014, D.C. metro resident Taylor Jack worked broadly in international affairs and served in the Peace Corps. While preparing for grad school, she was also searching for her next professional opportunity. Jack had a network of colleagues who had worked with Chemonics and were personally familiar with its sustainable global development work and mission to promote meaningful change around the world to help people live healthier, more productive, and more independent lives. She knew it would be a great place to grow with a continued international emphasis.
“It felt right from the beginning. I was able to speak with two people, one of whom—unbeknownst to me—would become my supervisor and a future teammate. I really appreciated that they pulled members of my eventual team into the interview process and the personalized approach,” shared Jack who was hired as a senior associate and promoted to program manager in 2021.
Thoughtful and tailored, Jack’s interview experience evidences the company’s culture and general approach to employment which aims to reflect the vast diversity of the communities in which Chemonics partners and to elevate and intentionally integrate diverse voices into its work. Jack’s experience is echoed by other company employees.
“I interviewed with the project leadership: an American woman and a Bolivian man. It was the first time I noticed Chemonics’ global workforce,” shared Karina Perez Jvostova, Chemonics’ monitoring, evaluation, research, learning, and adaption director, who was born in Mexico and now works in Mexico City.
“Projects are a manifestation of international cooperation and a source of learning that also serve as a ground where theory and innovation are put to the test. We’re in charge of turning a cooperative agreement into reality, so we bring the theory of what should work and tie it to the results we want to create. We learn what is truly effective in a particular context throughout the project,” said Perez.
That importance of continual learning and innovation ties directly to Chemonics’ hiring values.
“When I think about hiring, I think about who I need now and what the growth potential is. It’s about giving that chance. It comes from being values-driven and trying to do the right thing. Our culture creates a space where you feel safe to fail so you can learn from the whole experience,” said SVP of human resources, Mina Day.
That psychological safety and emphasis on inclusion and leadership live through what has grown to six employee resource groups (ERGs) that serve different employee interests and communities.
“We were initially seven people across the organization envisioning what ERGs could look like and ways to build community in a virtual world, coming off a very difficult year for Black employees,” shared Jack of her experience launching the Black employee resource group, ChemONYX, which aims to cultivate Black leaders in the company and industry as a whole. “I’m extremely proud of what we were able to do. To this day, we have one of the largest memberships among the ERGs.”
The company recruits heavily among Veterans, and in 2022 had more than 166 touchpoints with diverse, inclusive organizations, schools, and universities.
“We employ lots of different types of people to perform a wide range of functions here in the US and across the globe. As we think about the culture we’re looking to promote, we’re looking for agility, an ability to adapt culturally and to the work we do, and for talent who can connect the dots across disparate-seeming solutions and solve complex challenges,” shared Day.
Beyond inclusive hiring processes and a deep organizational commitment to integrating DE&I through its global culture, Chemonics offers 120 different training programs to employees, ranging from informal, online programs to job rotations, job shadowing, and mentor programs, and a variety of leadership and professional development opportunities.
“I’ve had the opportunity to present what we did in Mexico at a Chemonics event that brought people together from around the world. I’ve been able to do a short-term project in Peru and also got to participate through our partnership with global innovation lab UNLEASH,” said Perez.
“Chemonics’ culture is one that thrives on entrepreneurship. We’re a large company with lots of processes, but Chemonics prides itself on innovation and giving opportunities to young, upcoming talent. There are lots of opportunities to become a leader and to develop new talent, even as a young professional. It’s unique,” said Jack.
To learn more about careers at Chemonics, Careers - Chemonics International [chemonics.com].