Part-time work often has a gender pay gap that’s twice as big as the full-time pay gap, because it’s not as well paid and it’s mainly women doing it. In fact, a new report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, suggests mothers in part-time work are being hit by a ‘pay penalty and are not often given pay rises linked to experience.


We look at how a lack of promotion affects flexible and part-time workers, who often earn less than their full-time equivalents.

A lack of promotion hits working part-time mothers

Lack of women in senior roles is one reason the gender pay gap is present, although many organisations are working hard to alter this. Women Returners is one professional network seeking to place more women who have had career breaks after starting a family, back into professional work.

Yet most of these returner roles are full-time and perhaps the issue is that women simply can’t work full working weeks when they still have to carry the majority of the childcare burden. In fact, our recent research suggests women shoulder 63% of childcare responsibilities.

In addition, senior part-time people may not want greater responsibility if they are already stretched to capacity with other commitments to fulfil elsewhere. But bosses must be careful not to assume this is always the case and be understanding of employee’s needs.

As Chitra Ramaswarmy recently wrote in the Guardian, “We (working mothers) are unable to rise to senior positions because these tend not to favour flexible working – or, indeed, anyone who is not a white man.”

These are hard hitting words, but as the gender pay gap deadline approaches, it’s time for honest discussions to be had.

Senior roles CAN be done part-time

Deborah O’Sullivan, Managing Director at Ten2Two, says, “Senior roles can be done part-time, yet there’s a widely held view that the more senior you become, the more hours you have to work. It’s simply not true. As we often hear, the more senior you become, the more skilled you become at delegating and organising your time and resources and using your own skills in the best way possible, so there’s no reason senior positions can’t be part-time.”

You just have to look at the Power Part-Time List to see that it’s possible. Speaking recently at the Mindset Shift Summit, an online conference in celebration of flexible working, dozens of senior part-time people proved just that.

Power job share duo, Angela Kitchen and Hannah Pearce, Head of External Affairs at Age UK are shining examples of two very senior part-time people at the top of their game. Also, Morwen Williams, Head of Newsgathering at the BBC, spoke brilliantly about her part-time working life.

As a part-time and flexible recruiter, here at Ten2Two we work with forward-thinking employers every day, who see the benefits of offering flexibility and who reap the rewards as a result.

Register with Ten2Two today

Register with our website to find your perfect professional flexible working role today. Or if you’re an employer, please contact us and we’d love to talk you through our flexible working recruitment process.

Fact is, flexible working is the future of business – millennials want it, Gen Z wants it. And the future of diversity at work relies upon it…

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