Attitudes to part-time progression changing

Progress is being made on showing that part-time workers can progress to senior roles, but bias still continues, as a Timewise poll for the launch of its annual Timewise Power List shows.

Work Part-time


Half the UK public still ‘don’t believe it’s possible to have a part-time career and nearly half [48%] wouldn’t give a part-time worker an ‘important or business critical task”, according to a poll for Timewise.

The poll comes as Timewise launches its 10th annual Timewise Power List charting the most successful people in the UK who have either been hired part time from day one or have been promoted whilst working part time. They include two women who job share the role of deputy director of counter terrorism at GCHQ, Dr Jane Edwards, a scientist who played a key part in efforts to develop a vaccine to combat Covid-19 and  Dr Kerrie Thackray, a doctor who returned to the frontline during Covid-19, following six years out of work raising five children.

Despite this, the poll shows there is still a lot to be done to address public perceptions about part-time workers, even though things are moving in the right direction. For instance, the number of people who don’t think it is possible to have a part-time career has reduced over the last decade from 75%. ONS statistics analysed by Timewise also show that 750,000 people now work in senior-level and business critical jobs in the UK that are part-time (30 hours a week or fewer).

The Timewise Power List, supported by EY, Diageo, Lloyds Banking Group and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, aims to change the conversation around part-time work from what isn’t possible: to what is.  From next year onwards, Timewise will run the UK’s first ever omnibus of part-time workers, capturing the voices of people in all kinds of part-time jobs.

Timewise CEO Melissa Jamieson says: “Working on the vaccine. Fighting terrorism. Saving lives on the frontline. The winners of this year’s Power List, our 10th in 10 years, prove beyond doubt that part-time workers come from a skilled and vital pool of talent that the UK needs.  They change the conversation from what isn’t possible when you work fewer hours, to what is. Flexible workers may be facing their toughest year yet, in terms of stigma. We must keep making sure their voices are heard and their experiences are understood.”

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