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There is significant evidence that part-time workers are much less likely to be promoted and progress up the pay-scale.  And, since the vast majority of part time workers are women (a recent report by the insurance industry showed around 90% of part time workers in the insurance and long-term savings industry are women), there is clearly a ‘motherhood penalty’ in play, contributing to the lack of gender diversity in leadership teams.   For some, the ability to work part-time can mean the difference between remaining and progressing in their career or leaving work altogether, further reducing diversity across the sector.

Because job sharing can allow individuals who need or want to work reduced hours to progress their careers, increasing job sharing in the Asset Management sector could, over time, reduce the gender seniority gap and improve diversity.  Since there is also significant evidence that increasing the diversity of leadership teams leads to more innovation and improved financial performance, it is surprising to me that we have not seen more focus on job sharing by investment management firms.

One senior example from the Investment sector – albeit indirectly, as she was employed within the regulator – was Mary Starks.   She job shared with Deborah Jones and, together, they were the Director of Competition and Chief Economist at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) from 2013 to 2018.  In an interview Mary gave to Womanthology in  January 2017, she pointed out that

if an organisation can get the right job-share partnership in place, it gets two brains, two sets of accumulated experience, and the more productive halves of two people’s weeks for the price of one. It’s also a very enjoyable way to work, particularly as a senior leader – you share the highs and the lows and avoid the ‘loneliness of leadership’.

Other very successful examples of job shares can be seen each year in the Timewise Power 50 Awards, which celebrate the 50 most successful part time workers in an effort to promote flexible working as an option to employers.  Last years’ awards had one duo from Financial Services:  Madeleine McDougall and Andy Hulme from the Lloyds Banking Group.   Maddie and Andy are responsible for the Real Estate and Housing business at Lloyds Banking Group, the largest lender to UK housebuilders and housing associations.  Under their leadership, their team was named 2018 UK Lender of the Year and Sustainable Finance Provider of the Year, as well as winning Commercial Real Estate Deal of the Year.   Together they form a rare executive-level job share within banking.

As part of Godliman’s Diversity consulting, we are encouraging clients to consider this option in senior appointments.

Better still, we are walking the walk with our own job share partnership: from January 2021, Alice Harris and Alik Beelaerts will both work part-time to cover one full-time role.

 

If you are currently in a successful Job Share partnership within the investment management industry, we would love to hear from you to learn what has worked well for you, and how to ensure a successful sharing arrangement.  Please e-mail me on r.reed@godliman.net

Author: Rupert Reed Last edited 20th January 2021

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