Why do you think wised up employers love part-time women employees?
Yep, you’re focused, productive and make your boss’s life easy. You provide great value for money because you do as much as your full time colleagues for less pay! In fact, you probably do more than your hours allow. You’ve developed a reputation for being a reliable workhorse.
In addition, I bet you’re organised, take few breaks, seldom attend training or compromise your hours by socialising. You don’t want to risk losing your part time status so you work hard and deliver great outcomes.
That’s all great for your boss, but what about you?
The fact is, despite your value and your work output, you’re tarred with latent, entrenched stereotypical assumptions and gender bias – that you have to defend yourself from – explicitly and regularly.
I heard yet another tale of discriminatory practices from an executive woman client who’s been moved to a non-managerial role in the latest reshuffling of positions. Her place is to be filled by a less experienced, less effective officer who works full time. Her boss explained that this colleague was a high potential employee, committed to her career and needed managerial experience.
Ouch. My client is now on the verge of leaving.
If you work part time, it is not enough that you do volumes of great work. You must be strategic. You must manage your profile. You must explicitly articulate your commitment to your career.
- walk around the office daily, chat to colleagues and attend strategically important meetings
- send email updates to your boss regularly about your achievements and the status of projects
Tell people you’re committed:
- explicitly express your commitment to your career – let your boss know when you expect a promotion
- identify the training, experiences and opportunities you need to achieve your career goals, advise your supervisor and attend that training.
Speak with authority:
- don’t apologise for working part time or seek permission when you leave
- set clear boundaries and clarify expectations about when you’re available and who will back you up if needed
- negotiate deadlines, resources and work assignments so that you can achieve them in your allocated hours
- be explicit about timelines and tell people when you’ve delivered.
What have you done that works?