Is Part Time Work a Career Curse?

15th February 2016
Computer and Mouse in Office

The part time phenomenon seems to be taking off with more of us successfully working part time and as freelancers than ever before. However for one group – working mothers – it appears that there is a shortage of opportunity.

Welcome to the MMB

The MMB (Mothers Mean Business) is an organisation launched toward the end of 2015 by Abbie, a business woman with 15 years experience in the recruitment industry, to provide a resource for mothers looking to get back into work. Career advice, support and job opportunities all reside under one digital roof for mothers eager to get back into their professional stride after giving birth.

Survey Reveals Sad Times

A survey conducted by the MMC about the job opportunities available for working mothers has revealed disappointing results, with the organisation cited as saying:

“Our survey provides concrete evidence that more needs to be done to promote the expertise and experience that working mothers can provide”.

The main finding was that mothers don’t feel the opportunities available to them are on par with those they received prior to having a child.

Details, Details

Part time employment is the most popular when it comes to returning to work after having a baby, but mothers do feel that having a child has damaged their career prospects. Other findings to come out of the study are:

• 83% feel there is a definitely limit to their career options – purely because they are looking to work part time and not because of any lack of skills or ability
• 71% have not received a promotion since working part time
• 42% have received negative comments from colleagues simply because they have switched to part time hours
• 51% feel they have taken a step backwards in their careers

In fact, only 19% felt their career hadn’t stalled since having a child. One more positive finding was that 23% of respondents did feel their employer was making a concerted effort to adapt, embrace and understand part time working.

What We Think
We were surprised to learn of these findings given that part time working is supposed to have taken off in a big way as the 9-5 day receives less and less favour.

We understand that having an employee only available for part time hours could be challenging, but given new emphasis on work/life balance across the UK, perhaps more effort needs to be put into making part time roles more effective despite their lower number of worked hours. There appears to be an opportunity to make the most out of talented mothers and other individuals with commitments who can’t work a traditional 9-5.

"Part time employment is the most popular when it comes to returning to work after having a baby, but mothers do feel that having a child has damaged their career prospects"