Stuart C. Carr, First Humanitarian Work Psychologist

What is your current job/role and how is it related to HWP?

My current job/role is to occupy a personal Chair as Professor of Psychology in the Industrial and Organisational Psychology Programme at Massey University in New Zealand/Aotearoa.  The job/role is related to HWP because most of what I now teach, research, and practice today is firmly, squarely and overtly focused on what enables Sustainable Livelihood, under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth, of the United Nations SDGs (2015-30).  Sustainable livelihoods span more than one job, one person, and one point in time. They enable people and their whanau/families and communities to withstand future shocks and to have and realise their aspirations for the future, for themselves and their offspring.

What inspired you to work in the HWP arena in the first place?

My first job was at the University of Malawi in Southern East Africa, and I am still trying to pay back, or rather pay forward, all the lessons Malawi kindly taught me. These were mainly about the importance of having access to a Sustainable Livelihood for the “eradication of poverty, in all its forms, everywhere” (SDG-1 – Poverty Eradication).  Poverties of opportunity in the work domain, or “working poverty,” is at the heart of poverty eradication, whether in Malawi or in New Zealand/Aotearoa. Unfortunately working poverty knows no borders.  But more recently, what keeps me going in HWP is you guys – especially students and early career Psychologists, who have tons of energy and vision, professional commitment, and aspiration for the future of work. You inspire me to work in the HWP arena, then and now, and in the future – your future, and ours, across the whole of humanity.

What other HWP activities (if any) have you been engaged in during the recent past (e.g., volunteer work, committees, etc.)? 

Recently, I have Chaired SIOP’s International Affairs Committee, Edited Division 52’s flagship journal, International Relations in Psychology (IPP), and co-Chaired the APA’s Committee on International Relations in Psychology (CIRP). I guess you could say that this shows my professional commitment to international collaboration and to the international SDGs!

What publications are you currently or recently working on?

My main research focus these days and for the foreseeable future is on the role of living wages in sustaining decent work and a sustainable livelihood. All these publications are team-based, in this case mainly within Project GLOW (Global Living Organisational Wage). With crucial support from SIOP, and more recently EAWOP, GLOW is committed to publishing responsive research that informs the global debate about the role of living wages in decent work and economic development, in all its forms, everywhere.  Our current papers in the Auckland hub of GLOW are focused on how personal wages combine with household income and numbers of household dependents to enable decent qualities of life and work life. This research is enabled by the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund, and draws heavily from, and hopefully contributes to, the wider network of expertise and capability to inform policy, contained within GLOW.

Which associations/organizations are you a member of/active in?

Apart from GLOW, I am a member and Fellow of SIOP, the Royal Society of New Zealand, and the New Zealand Psychological Society. I am also closely linked with Division 52 – International Psychology, through the Editorial role with IPP. At Massey University, I work in the End Poverty and Inequality Cluster (EPIC), which sits within the School of Psychology. Professionally, I normally identify first and foremost as a Humanitarian Work Psychologist.

What’s something that would surprise people about your day-to-day?

I love being out on the water, mucking about on boats, even when they are moored in the harbour. Currently, in a berth is a safer place to be than out on the water, as my apprenticeship in boat-craft is only just beginning. A former bagpipe player, I love the skirl of the pipes, and very much would like to play them again – one day, perhaps!

What advice would you give to those new to HWP?

Hold the vision, stay the course, this is a long-term commitment and the times are on (y)our side to see it through to the end. The world is at many crossroads, environmental, societal and occupational, and everything – everything – is still in play. Without access to decent work, and decent work conditions, humanity will not sustain. Extinction rebellion is right. We need an IO equivalent, we need to move from support group to movement, without losing sight of all the good work – amazing in so many ways – that IO has already done, and achieved. Finding our way into the policy arena is where the future of the planet and the species will be decided. I am counting on you being there.

Jeffrey Godbout, Current GOHWP Executive Board Chair

What is your current job/role and how is it related to HWP?

By day I am a Business Development Specialist at ICF International in Washington, DC, representing a team of I-O Psychologists, Workforce Development and Training specialists, as well as Data Scientists, Engineers, and all roles that support emerging technology. I create opportunities to show our clients (US Government, non-profits, and commercial businesses) how we add value in meeting their respective missions.  I’m constantly creating strategies to increase the amount of access, intel and influence ICF has in the market.

I moved away from a traditional I-O psychology role (e.g. designing selection and culture assessments, leadership programs, career coaching, etc.) and into Business Development two years ago and it has proven valuable in my role as GOHWP Chair. Working in a BD role has helped me understand that in order for GOHWP to succeed we need to expand our reach from individuals to universities and organizations, while simultaneously building an HWP community committed to actively sharing the latest HWP-related research and career opportunities. As HWP professionals we must do more to influence leadership in the private, public and non-profit sectors, showing how our principles can help them successfully meet their mission. This approach keeps the momentum of the HWP movement alive and more importantly will work to create both a better educated HWP workforce and more academic and practitioner opportunities. 

What inspired you to work in the HWP arena in the first place? 

Professor Stuart C. Carr. And I know I’m not alone with that response!

I knew early on that I wanted to apply I-O psychology to something other than commercial business but didn’t know what that would look like. That was until one life-changing night in 2008.  I read Stu’s article on I-O and poverty reduction and was hooked immediately. I was lucky enough to connect with him soon after and we have stayed close ever since. The article for those interested is: Carr, S. C. (2007). I/O Psychology and Poverty Reduction: Past, Present and Future. The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, 41, 1, 43-50.

What other HWP activities (if any) have you been engaged in during the recent past (e.g., volunteer work, committees, etc.)?  

My thesis was grounded in HWP research. I explored how dominance, justice, and identity impact the experience of individuals receiving assistance from homeless shelters and other support services across New Zealand. While in NZ I also worked with non-profits to create the first leadership program specifically designed by and for non-profit leaders. 

In 2015 I started a company called Research Distillery that was designed to make research more accessible through short animated videos. This company no longer exists but the project did produce videos on income inequality and food insecurity.

My current role as Chair of GOHWP has kept me abreast of the great research and work being done by all our members. I want to give a special shout out and thank you to those that were able to make SIOP and share their stories. It was wildly inspiring, and I can’t wait until we meet again!

What publications are you currently or recently working on?

My last meaningful publication was a chapter for the first HWP book describing my research experience in Haiti. As for now, I’m off the publication trail. Figured I’d leave the research and writing to those that do it much better than me. In the meantime, I’m continuing to work with GOHWP leadership in an effort to foster the growth of HWP! 

Which associations/organizations are you a member of/active in?

Along with HWP I‘m very interested in how technology and psychology intersect to support organizations of the future. I’m therefore a member of psychology associations SIOP, PTCMW, and IPAC as well as technology-based associations ACT-IAC, AFFIRM, and AFCEA. 

What’s something that would surprise people about your day-to-day? 

I prefer to be in bed as early as possible. When no one is looking 8pm is a really good time to fall asleep. 

What advice would you give to those new to HWP?

Just say Yes! Finding the perfect opportunity isn’t likely to happen so every chance you get to work on something HWP-related, take it! Then build from what you learn and who you meet. 

Don’t assume I-O psychology, HWP, or any discipline has all the answers. HWP was created to reinforce the focus on humanitarian needs in not only development work but all other sectors. We therefore all have a lot to learn and share as we create better work environments and communities around the world!

Ishbel McWha-Hermann, Executive Board Member, Past Chair

What is your current job/role and how is it related to HWP?

I am a faculty member at the University of Edinburgh Business School in Scotland, UK. I teach about HRM and international HRM at undergrad and postgraduate levels. I include HWP content as much as I can in the courses I teach. As an academic I also spend a lot of time on research and my main area of research is fair reward in international NGOs. I’ve been researching fair reward for the past 12 years, and have always had a particular focus on the international aid and development context. Prior to doing my PhD I worked for NGOs in India and Cambodia for a few years, where I really became passionate about understanding how I-O psychology can contribute to improving aid and development organisations and their initiatives. (Shameless plug: check out the Project Fair website if you’re interested to learn more about my recent work – www.project-fair.org). My work is very applied and I work closely with my research partner organisations. For example, I recently co-produced a set of Principles and Standards of Fair INGO Reward with 25+ partner organisations. More recently I’ve been applying topics like values-based HRM and how it can be/is being applied in INGOs, as well as exploring the psychology of living wages, recently getting funding from EAWOP with Ros Searle and Stu Carr to run a three-day Small Group Meeting on living wages in June 2019. Meeting with living wage researchers from around the globe was incredibly stimulating and exciting! I’ve also looked at other aspects of HWP in my research, specifically I’m thinking of the work I have done on the employment experiences of people with disabilities.

What inspired you to work in the HWP arena in the first place?

There was no such thing as HWP when I started! 🙂 I started to work in the area because of my interest in helping marginalised groups, as well as the niggling feeling that I-O psychology could do more to help. As a student I was so excited when I learned of the work of researchers like Stu Carr, Mac MacLachlan, Virginia Schein and Joel Lefkowitz (among others!), and it has been so great to see how the field has developed and expanded over the past 10-12 years!

What other HWP activities (if any) have you been engaged in during the recent past (e.g., volunteer work, committees, etc.)?

I was a member of the global task force for HWP, and subsequently a founding member of GOHWP. I was then the first elected Chair of GOHWP.

 What publications are you currently or recently working on?

Quite a few! I currently have three papers under review, and a handful in various stages of progress. The three under review are quite varied: one looks at how INGOs structure their reward and the tension between competitiveness and social values. The second looks at reactions to observed injustice in the workplace, and the third is a study of employee attributions for shared parental leave policies. I am also co-authoring a book chapter about a macropsychology perspective on HWP.

Which associations/organizations are you a member of/active in?

GOHWP, European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology, International Association of Applied Psychology, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, British Psychological Society.

What advice would you give to those new to HWP?

Get involved! Go to conferences, talk to people, feel connected. When I started I felt quite isolated, but those starting HWP these days can feel comforted that there is a big group of people with shared interests, more than 800 in 35 countries at last count!

Megan Church-Nally, Executive Board Member

What is your current job/role and how is it related to HWP?

I am an Assistant Professor-Educator at the University of Cincinnati. I teach in Organizational Leadership in the Psychology department and focus on the Nonprofit and Community concentration. This relates to HWP as I focus on training the future leaders of nonprofit and community organizations and using our knowledge to better the community.

What inspired you to work in the HWP arena in the first place?

My high school (Mercy Academy in Louisville, KY) focused on social justice and giving back to the community. I carried this forward through my schooling and am proud to use my psychological knowledge to benefit overall society.

What other HWP activities (if any) have you been engaged in during the recent past (e.g., volunteer work, committees, etc.)?

I serve on several committees: Young Professional Board of Special Olympics Hamilton County, Faculty adviser to UC’s Nonprofit Organizational Leadership Association (NOLA), Aubrey Rose Rappel for a Reason, part of the Uganda Initiative at UC (where we partner with Water with Blessings and Comboni Missionaries) in an effort to give back to community, conference planning committee, and several of groups just to name a few. The UC students and I also work with numerous nonprofit organizations and provide a variety of services to them. I am also going live with my personal nonprofit in honor of my late dog in 2020.

What publications are you currently or recently working on?

I just finished two textbooks with my co-author. Though I am working on several pedagogical articles, I am also co-author on a study investigating differences between urban and rural high school communities and intention to go to college, and several studies based on my dissertation.

Which associations/organizations are you a member of/active in?

GOWHP, Center for Nonprofit Excellence, and Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.

What’s something that would surprise people about your day-to-day?

The sheer amount of caffeine I drink on a daily basis. My orange tabby cat, James, also insists on wearing a bowtie every day and has quite the collection.

What advice would you give to those new to HWP?

Don’t ever worry you’re doing too little. Eventually all your efforts will combine and you’ll see the impact you make on society.