Current and former staff members of GirlGuiding New Zealand (GGNZ) are accusing the group of mismanagement and having a toxic work culture. However, CEO Susan Coleman says these allegations “create false impressions and undermine our hardworking team”.
According to initial reports from Stuff NZ, GGNZ saw deficits amounting to almost NZ$11m from 2016 to December 2021. The emergence of COVID-19 further hampered the charity, with membership decreasing 5% in 2020.
A former GGNZ employee said that – although guiding does great things for girls – on a staffing level, the group is “truly a disturbing place to work.” The person hoped that speaking out would bring about change.
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“When people talk about guiding, they talk about what Girl Guides was decades ago,” the former staff member said, adding how girls have been generally put off with the group's “blocking of creativity and innovation”.
Another former staff member said workers endured so much bullying and mistreatment by the management that they would end up crying at the car park.
GGNZ started in 1910 as the Girl Peace Scouts, further gaining popularity during World War II. However, the paid membership model led to a decline in membership in the 1980s, Stuff reported.