For anyone with ambition, it was believed that the only way to achieve a senior position on a good salary was by working full-time; however, things have changed.
Astonishingly, there are now over 770,000 high earners in the UK working part-time. This is an upward trend, with flexible working group Timewise reporting that the number of part-timers earning more than £40,000 per annum has increased by 5.7 per cent in the last year; meanwhile, a survey of 200 managers showed that 40 per cent would be prepared to take on someone for a senior role as part of a job-share.
The organisations employing part-time or job-sharing managers in senior roles include Lloyds Banking Group, the Ministry of Defence, UBS, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, the Guardian, PwC, the BBC, and Sky.
Since 2012, Timewise has been publishing a list of 50 men and women in senior positions who work less than five days a week to help promote flexible working as a viable model for business. One of the most interesting changes that has been seen in the five years is in job sharing. In 2012, the list included no job shares; in 2015, when it was last published, there were two; this year, there are nine.
Job-sharers include Angela Kitching and Hannah Pearce, who are joint heads of external affairs for Age UK. They each work three days a week, working together on one of these days. Their business cards show both their details and they use a joint email sign-off.
They had already worked together at Age UK for over four years before suggesting the job share and clearly it has been a great success – the pair have been promoted twice since their partnership began in 2012.
Other notable job shares on the list are Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley, joint leaders of the Green Party. They both work in their job-share part of each day, leaving time for them to deal with their other responsibilities. Lucas is also an MP and needs to devote time to her constituency.
Other private sector job shares include Alix Ainsley and Charlotte Cherry, who together fill the role of human resources director at Lloyds and had already worked in a job share before moving to Lloyds a year ago. At the Guardian, Anushka Asthana and Heather Stewart share the position of political editor.
Most of the other senior job shares were in the public sector, including at the Home Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Work and Pensions and the Scottish government; however, Karen Mattison, the co-founder of Timewise, hopes that more private sector firms will follow their lead in taking a fresh approach to employment and retention.
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