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Listed: Bosses at EY, Diageo, BBC, PwC among 29 of the UK’s most powerful part-time workers

A list revealing the most powerful part-timers in the UK has been revealed.

The 10th annual Timewise Power List charts the most successful workers who have either been hired part-time from day one, or promoted whilst working part-time.

This brand new List includes Dr Jane Edwards – the pioneering 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 6 years out of work raising five children.

The 2022 Power List by flexible working agency Timewise highlights people who are building their careers while working part time.

A new poll commissioned by Timewise to mark 10 years since the launch of the first list has found that half the UK public still ‘don’t believe it’s possible to have a part-time career’– though this portion has reduced since Timewise first asked the public this exact question a decade ago, prompting the search for the first ever list (in 2012) when 3 in 4 people thought it wasn’t possible.

Furthermore, nearly the same portion, 48 per cent of the UK public say they currently: “would not give a part-time colleague an ‘important or business critical task”.

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Yet, new analysis of ONS data on behalf of Timewise reveals that 750,000 people now work in senior-level and business critical jobs in the UK, that are part-time (30hrs/wk or fewer).

The Power List is is backed by EY, Diageo, Lloyds Banking Group and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

Timewise CEO Melissa Jamieson said: “Working on the vaccine. Fighting terrorism. Saving lives on the frontline. The winners of this year’s Power List, our 10 th 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.”

The 2022 Power List was hired, or promoted, on a part-time basis.

SAMANTHA FLETCHER & CLAIR DROEDEN, Purchasing Director – Indirect Purchasing

Ford – Work: Jobshare, 80% contract each
Together Clair and Samantha manage an annual spend of over $2.5bn as a jobshare arrangement for Ford Europe. Clair is based in Germany while Sam works from the UK and they jointly manage a team of over 90 buyers, supervisors and senior managers across Europe and the UK. With both of them working on an 80% contract, they are responsible for areas including marketing, sales, IT, transportation and construction. They aim to modernise purchasing interface by streamlining the processes and reducing bureaucracy to create a more agile team set-up. Working part-time has allowed both to spend time with their families and continue their personal development; Sam is project managing a house renovation and Clair is studying homeopathy.

‘VICKY’ and ‘EMILY’, Deputy Directors of Counter Terrorism

GCHQ – Work: Jobshare, 28hrs/wk each
As job-sharing, working mothers who lead the Counter Terrorism team in GCHQ, Emily and Vicky are passionate about flexible working. Between them they have over 30 years’ experience in national security and intelligence which they use to deliver insights that support military operations; enable the government to respond to shifting geo-politics and ultimately reduce the terrorism threat in the UK. They achieve all this while working a part-time job share of 28 hours per week. This working pattern was negotiated while one helped look after the other’s child during an assessment day for the role, one of the first jobshares in an operational intelligence position at this level. Its success has enabled GCHQ to model top-level flexible working to the workforce, setting the example of what’s possible.

CAROLYN BARTLETT & KIRSTY WILDGOOSE, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer

Valuation Office Agency – Work: Jobshare, 3 days per week each
Having separately held demanding full-time roles, Carolyn and Kirsty started jobsharing for the Border and Immigration System at the Home Office before being jointly promoted to their current role. Flexible working has allowed Kirsty to spend time in Germany and care for a child recovering from serious health issues while Carolyn has been able to pursue non-executive opportunities, study, and prioritise her and her family’s wellbeing. They are among the most senior jobsharers in the Civil Service. Together at the Valuation Office Agency, part of the HMRC which funds vital public services through the valuation of domestic and business properties, the pair are responsible for the corporate strategy and transformation portfolio with 300 employees and a combined spend of £200m.

SARA WAJID & ZAK MENSAH, Co-CEO

Birmingham Museums Trust Work: Jobshare, 3 days per week each
Both Sara and Zak work three days per week as joint CEOs, aiming to transform one of the UK’s largest independent museum trusts into a modern, globally relevant visitor experience. Their appointment is a rare instance of people of colour reaching the highest level of leadership in UK museums, and of job-sharing taking place at this level. Both have backgrounds in museums – Sara in curating and engagement, Zak in transformation, commercial and technology. They were inspired to apply for a jobshare as an opportunity to diversify from the top, tackle gender inequality and promote new ways of working in the sector. When they recently reopened Thinktank at Birmingham Science Museum after 432 days of closure due to the pandemic, visitor numbers exceeded expectations.

RUTH ASTLE, Senior Manager, Group Transformation, Inclusion & Diversity Specialist

Lloyds Banking Group – Works: 2 days/wk
Ruth is a Senior Manager in the Lloyds Banking Group Inclusion & Diversity team. She has been contracted to work two days a week since the end of 2019 to enable her to pursue being a professional triathlete, after winning the overall age group race at the Ironman World championship in Hawaii. Over the last two years Ruth has primarily supported the Group’s Chief Information Office to increase their diversity and inclusion, through a range of initiatives such as a sponsorship programme for junior diverse talent. She has supported projects focusing on company culture and recruitment, and has brought in measures for the senior leadership team to track their progress on a regular basis. Her part time hours have allowed her to progress as a professional triathlete, winning two Ironman races in 2021 and is currently ranked 30th in the world.

NICOLA HANCOCK, Strategy & Planning Manager

Shell International Ltd – Works: 4 days per week
Shortly after Nicola joined Shell in September 2020, the largest organisational transformation in the company’s history was announced. Nicola led the implementation of this transformation across the Downstream Information and Digital Technologies function, with almost half of all roles changing either in scope or location. Following the launch of Shell’s Powering Progress strategy, Nicola now leads the work to reimagine and transform the use of digital technologies for her function, overseeing the management and delivery of a budget of more than $1bn and leading a community of over 800 people. Nicola has worked part-time since the birth of her first child in 2010. During the pandemic she used her experience of flexibility to support others adapting to changing working patterns.

HAZEL MACNAMARA, Partner and Business Unit Leader

PwC LLP – Works: 4 days per week
Hazel has overall responsibility for the performance of PwC’s external audit business across the North of the UK (£100m turnover, 850 employees, 7 offices). Her original reasons for working flexibly centred around raising her three children but evolved into allowing her to support her mother following a stroke and then more recently to helping manage care for both her parents as they dealt with serious health issues. Development is important to Hazel as is evolving and learning from disappointment, something she demonstrated when she did not initially get promoted to the role of Partner. As Business Unit Leader, she has improved quality and financial metrics, increased focus on inclusion and diversity, and spent time developing talent resulting in increased employee engagement.

EMMA WOOD, Global Brand Director

Publicis Groupe – Works: 4 days per week
“The pandemic brought with it both the biggest challenges and greatest opportunities of my career,” says Emma who was promoted to Global Brand Director and worked four days a week while home-schooling her children during the thick of the lockdown. Emma ran international pitches for the Global Business Development team and has helped launch the new Publicis proposition with 87,000 employees across the globe. Working flexibly allows her increased focus on her two children, one of whom has Autism and ADHD and benefits from the extra time given to connecting in a calm environment, admin and therapy. Emma is now a Publicis D&I champion and hope this will help her to advocate for other parents of neurodiverse children and support neurodiverse colleagues.

DR JANE EDWARDS, Senior Postdoctoral Scientist

The Pirbright Institute – Works: 4 days per week
Jane’s work has been instrumental in developing the UK’s vaccination efforts against COVID-19. Prior to the pandemic, Jane was focused on improving vaccines against PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome), one of the most devastating diseases affecting pig farming. When COVID-19 arrived, she pivoted to assessing immune responses to the developing coronavirus vaccines, working specifically on isolating antibody producing cells. The results from one of her studies helped inform the decision to use two doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine (rather than just one). Jane negotiated her part-time role during the hiring process to spend more time with her son. She also supervises PhD, MSc and undergraduate students, showing them it is possible to work flexibly while conducting high impact research.

BABITA DEVI, Innovation Director

Oxford Innovation – Works: 2 days per week
The aim of Babita’s work is nothing less than to drive economic growth across the East of England. She took on the role of Innovation Director during the pandemic and has spent the last 18 months accelerating high potential start-ups and SMEs. Babita has a portfolio career spanning 3 decades and as a business strategist, coach and mentor worked with over 100 companies last year. Alongside running her own consultancy, she uses her business coaching experience to support ventures on the Accelerator Programme at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, is a mentor for Barclays Eagle Labs and is a Board Advisor. After experiencing the challenges of managing a full-time role while raising children as a single parent, working flexibly has allowed Babita to fulfil her work commitments without compromising time spent raising her family.

RUPAL KANTARIA, Partner

Oliver Wyman – Works: 3.5 days per week
It is testament to Rupal’s talent and dedication that she was promoted to Financial Services Partner at management consulting firm Oliver Wyman while working 3.5 days a week. As well as focussing on environmental, social and governance issues, Rupal serves on the City of London’s Social Mobility Taskforce and the Women in Climate Finance Action Group. She co-leads Oliver Wyman’s Social Impact practice and the senior leadership community, Leadership Reimagined, which addresses shared challenges including the role of business in society and the impact of technological disruption. She is a Board Trustee at the Lullaby Trust and co-leads the International Women’s Day speaker showcase in the Houses of Parliament. Flexible working allows Rupal to spend time supporting her family and community.

JO ASHDOWN, Managing Partner and Head of Partnerships

Mando-Connect – Works: 80% contract
In the five years since Jo co-founded brand partnership and reward agency Mando-Connect, it has grown from 2 to 31 employees; achieved consistent annual revenue growth and supported clients including Vodafone, BMW, Shell, Lidl and BMW. The achievements of the company, which operates as WPP’s partnerships arm, have been recognised with awards including Best Loyalty Programme and Best Use of Data. On top of that, in 2021, Jo founded House of Glow, an artisan skincare business. Having been diagnosed with the skin condition rosacea, she researched, formulated and tested her own skincare formulas before eventually launching an e-commerce site. Having two afternoons off a week means Jo can develop her blossoming skincare business while focussing on her wellbeing following back surgery.

JODIE GILLARY, Head of Client Impact, Brand, Insights

UK Kantar – Works: 3 days per week
As Head of Client Impact, Jodie elevates the client experience through developing new servicing models and best in class deliverables. The client retention programme she spearheaded was adopted globally and presented to the Global Exec Committee as an example of best practice. After the loss of her father two years ago, Jodie was inspired to fulfill her lifelong dream of qualifying as a personal stylist. She has subsequently set up her own styling business and runs a community of 7,000 women on social media. This success prompted Jodie to reduce her hours to three days a week so she can work across all her interests while raising her daughter. Her next plan? To publish a book applying her expertise in consumer decision making to wardrobe psychology.

NIGEL THORP, Preconstruction Manager

John Sisk and Son Ltd, UK Civils – Works: 40% contract
Nigel has 27 years of experience in onsite delivery of major infrastructure and 10 years in preconstruction, but in 2016, after suffering a subarachnoid brain haemorrhage, he found himself having to consider retirement due to ill health. The gruelling after-effects of the illness, exacerbated by the challenges of working and commuting, meant Nigel suffered with extreme fatigue. However, he was not ready to give up work so he suggested transitioning to a part-time mentoring and supporting role that would still capitalise on his expertise. John Sisk and Son Ltd welcomed the idea. He now supports the growing team at UK Civils to develop, plan and manage key bids. Together they have increased turnover from £42m in 2017 to £138m in 2021.

BOB BOOTH, Finance & Supply Chain Transformation Lead

IBM – Works: 4 days per week
Bob is responsible for transformation across IBM’s finance and supply chain consulting business. Designing transformational programmes for clients which deliver new technology, processes, data and operating models, his work has a significant impact on many large organisations, their people and their customers. With a team of over 500 UK&I consultants working in this area, and annual revenue of over $400M, Bob sets the strategy and growth for transformation. As his children grew older, Bob found balancing work and life harder to manage. Through his kids, Bob has come to better understand his own neurodiversity and has moved to a four-day week to give himself the balance needed to be a better colleague, husband and father.

TESSA HOLLINGWORTH, Managing Director of the North West region

Hays Recruitment – Works: 4 days per week
Tessa is Managing Director of the North West region and a member of the Hays UK&I board. She is responsible for the productivity and management of over 220 staff across 11 offices including those in Manchester and Liverpool. Her staff work in specialist areas such as finance, construction and technology. Tessa, who has worked a four-day week since the birth of her first child, has been a pivotal figure in rolling out a scheme allowing staff to work five days per fortnight in an office setting and five days wherever they choose. Although recruitment is a female-dominated industry, instances of senior positions being held by women are still a relatively rare but improving sight, making Tessa’s accomplishments all the more significant.

JAMES ASHALL, Diageo in Society Transformation Director

Diageo Works: 4 days per week
James is responsible for embedding Society 2030: Spirit of Progress, Diageo’s 10-year action plan to create a more inclusive and sustainable world, across the business. He developed the creative platform and targets for the Society 2030 roadmap and helps ensure Diageo is delivering on its 25 commitments which include promoting positive drinking and pioneering grain-to-glass sustainability. James was one of the first new fathers at Diageo to enjoy shared parental leave, taking eight months leave alongside his wife (a business-owner). Prior to his current role, James was CEO of youth employment charity Movement to Work and remains a Social Mobility Ambassador. In his spare time, he enjoys picking up long forgotten hobbies, now his children are in full-time education.

RACHEL GARRETT, Managing Director

CMG Technologies Works: 4 days per week
As Managing Director of CMG Technologies in Suffolk, Rachel Garrett has successfully defied the norm. Rachel’s leadership at CMG, which provides 3D metal printed and metal injection moulded components to the medical and industrial sectors has resulted in a13,000% increase in company profit from £7,000 in 2011 to nearly £1m in 2021. This has not come at the expense of her staff. Having worked part-time since becoming a parent, Rachel has introduced the same four-day week for her employees to improve their work/life balance, without impacting their salaries. During the pandemic, CMG won the Innovation in Business Award for creating vital parts for life-saving ventilators and a regional Wellbeing Award for treating its staff ethically.

MICHELLE MATHERSON, Creative Diversity Partner

BBC Works: 3 days per week
The aim of Michelle’s role at the BBC is to ensure that at least 20% of all production teams are inclusive when it comes to representing disability, ethnicity and social class. Working with the factual, daytime and entertainment teams, she ensures that diversity and inclusion are at the heart of their decisions. Michelle brokers relationships and shares her expertise with content makers on BBC’s best known shows including Strictly Come Dancing, Glow Up, Ambulance and We Are Black & British, increasing opportunities for diverse talent on and off screen. Michelle teaches scriptwriting in her spare time. She says of her working arrangement: “I get to rest and feel more energised to do things that suit me. The best of both worlds”.

JACQUELINE MULRYNE, Partner

Arnold & Porter -Works: 4 days per week
As a Partner at law firm Arnold & Porter, Jackie advises and litigates for innovative pharmaceutical and medical technology clients in the highest courts in England and the EU. She was promoted to Counsel then Partner, both while on a part-time schedule. She is recognised as a Next Generation Partner by Legal 500 and in Band 2 by Chambers. Jackie advises on regulatory issues surrounding the development, authorisation and supply of vaccines, tests and treatments, including those used for COVID-19. Both she and her husband work 80% so they can share parental responsibilities for their children while thriving in their careers. Jackie is also a Trustee for the sanitation charity, Gather Hub, and mentors students for the Target Oxbridge scheme.

KELLY KEATING, Programme Manager

J.P. Morgan – Works: 55% contract
Kelly is someone who makes things work – faster, simpler and more effectively. She was hired into her role in Markets Post Trade Transformation after negotiating flex at her interview. Kelly drives transformational change at product level and across the broader, cultural and organisational landscape. She led a proof of concept to match up candidates who want to apply for jobshares and is now partnering with a vendor platform to scale across the UK and potentially globally. Sponsored by the EMEA CEO, her scheme has successfully placed 14 jobshares so far, with the potential to scale globally. Kelly has now been promoted, on a 70% contract, to the role of Transformation and Change Lead. She continues to work flexibly in order to maintain a portfolio career including non-executive director positions and executive coaching.

DR KERRIE THACKRAY, Higher Clinical Fellow

Addenbrooke’s Hospital – Works: 60% contract
When the pandemic hit, Kerrie Thackray felt compelled to return to medicine after a six year career break raising five children (aged 3-11). A senior specialist registrar, she specialises in internal medicine, diabetes and endocrinology, but was deployed to critical care for three months. Based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, she works on the frontline making key decisions in the Emergency Department and Medical Admissions Unit. Kerrie rejoined the NHS on a 60% full time equivalent basis, working 29 hours a week (doctors are usually contracted to work 48 hours per week). Kerrie works flexibly to spend time with her family and volunteer with Girlguiding as a District Commissioner and Brownie Guide leader. She plans to become a diabetes consultant, with a special interest in older people.

ALEX KIHURANI, Senior Manager

EY – Works: 60% contract
Alex Kihurani is an expert in managing risk: he’s either analysing risk as a Senior Manager at EY or taking calculated risks as a co-driver in the World Rally Championship. Alex has a 60% arrangement across the year. For EY, Alex specialises in SAP process analytics for clients while also developing their new environmental, social, and governance capabilities. During EY’s busy season, he focuses on audit work then, during the rest of the year, he takes one or twoweeks off at a time to compete in rallies around the world. In 2020, he won the two-wheel drive category of Rally Monte Carlo and he currently sits 5th in WRC2, the World Rally Championships primary support category.

ALAN GRADY, Programme Editor

5 News ITN – Works: 4 days per week
Alan is part of a team of editors who have been leading ITN’s 5 News operation through the pandemic and the Ukraine crisis. The role of Programme Editor requires the skills of an experienced journalist combined with the ability to lead a team on a tight deadline under immense pressure. Alan accomplishes all this on a four day week, to enable a 50/50 shared responsibility agreement for his children with his ex-partner. He is also passionate about helping to develop the creative and technical skills of the hugely talented and diverse team. Alan played a key role in the recent successful launch of a challenging new format, which saw 5 News move to a full hour-long programme.

AEKTA PATEL, Global Head of Venture Capital Unit

Department for International Trade, UK Government
Works: 3 days per week
Aekta has a high profile, investor facing role at the DIT with the goal of attracting overseas investment into British companies which she carries out over three days a week. She manages a team who oversee relationships with 300 global investors supporting 100 UK companies. Aekta works flexibly in order to spend time with her young child who occasionally appeared in Zoom calls when childcare was unavailable during the pandemic. Aekta says that there are still many structural issues that prevent women from continuing senior careers after they have become mothers but the civil service has embraced flexible working. Over the past five years, her team has outperformed all DIT metrics and attracted several £bn into the UK.

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