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How to keep my job but raise an issue(15 Posts)
I work at a large, well-know company. For context, they are currently focusing on initiatives to encourage the progression of women in the workplace and to improve gender diversity.
I work on a 60% contract.
This year my boss decided that I should be promoted. She put me on the leadership programmes that are the well trodden paths to promotion to the next grade (ie everyone who does the programmes gets promoted) and I excelled.
I've just been told that the management team (which includes my boss) have decided that I won't be promoted because working a three day week means there's not big enough "platform" for the next level. They said they could never promote me to the next grade working three days per week.
They offered me two options - work a four day week covering maternity leave for a junior employee in a different part of the business. Despite it being a much more junior role, it would be a "better platform". Or stay in my current role and accept that I won't ever progress.
I am operating at the next level (which is why my boss wanted to promote me) and I love my current role. I also love working three days per week. I'm so frustrated that I won't be able to progress despite jumping through all the required hoops, having an outstanding performance evaluation and effectively managing my own team (which isn't usually expected at my grade).
Nothing concrete but you should be able to get promoted at 3 days per week. Although I was advised never to go on a three day or four day week until I got to the level I wanted to stay at as no one ever got promoted when working part time - not sure that helps, that was years ago.
I certainly wouldn't take the junior role.
Thanks. I was a bit insulted when they offered the junior role! I'm too senior and over-qualified for it.
I would be too - perhaps stay as you are but start to look for another job while you are there?
What if you did 4 days in your current role?
And how it that encouraging women and promoting diversity. It's basically saying if you work part time you won't move up. And guess which gender mainly work part time. I'd raise it, beyond your current manager. I feel for you OP
I'd be wanting some clarity from HR about whether this is company policy and a short explanation to them about the indirect discriminatory impact it has in the female workforce (presuming the evidence backs this up for your organisation). When I worked in HR the relevant legislation was the prevention of less favourable treatment regulations. Someone making a valuable contribution of meaningful work is no less valuable or meaningful because it's 3/5ths if the traditional view.
I'm surprised they didn't offer a third option, promotion but you have to reconsider your working pattern.
But are there any part-time workers at the level/role that you would be promoted to? Is it feasible to have part=time representation at that level? They can always claim it doesn't suit 'business need'.
I think working more in my current role would be an option if they expanded what I do now. I like working three days a week though...
With regard to others working part time at the grade above me, there are people doing three days a week but they weren't promoted when they were working that pattern.
Don't get me started on the diversity rhetoric, I was actually in a meeting where my boss's boss said "we need to remove the barriers that prevent women from progressing" and "we shouldn't reward people for the time they spend with their bums on seats"...
It's not a woman issue, it's the fact that senior roles are more likely to require being at work 5 days a week. My OH and I would love to go PT and we could afford to at our current salaries but neither could do so in our current senior roles.
You need to decide what you want more.
It is a woman issue though, women are much more likely to be part time than men, so a policy like this would disproportionately negatively impact women.
I think to be fair I find that the more senior the role, the less suitable it is for part time hours. That's definitely the way it is in my company. Most senior roles are advertised as full time hours only. Not sure there is much you can do.
I would disagree that the more senior the role, the less suitable for part-time. Yes senior roles can be demanding with a lot of meetings etc. to attend but the beauty of being the leader is you have the power to arrange your workload much more. With a bit of flexibility and creative thinking it's perfectly possible for seniors/leaders to work flexibly. Last year my organisation appointed to a very high profile senior professional lead role on a job share basis. The two people (a man and a woman incidentally, not that it matters) work three days a week each which does mean the company is paying 1.2 x salary, but for that we are getting way more than 1.2 x productivity and brain power than we would from one person alone, they have very different but complimentary personalities/skills, one is more strategic and creative, the other more operational and hands on so they divide up the tasks/requirements of the role to suit themselves and they are both flexible about covering each other's holidays etc. They have a shared PA, diary, inbox etc. so things don't get missed. Line management is divided up to prevent confusion although their direct reports can go to the other one if their main boss is not in that day.
Job sharing does require really good organisation and communication, plus trust in each other but it can work really well too. Would your company consider trying something like this, perhaps on a temporary/trial basis initially to see if it works?
This is such an important issue & I'm disappointed at the number of people accepting that you can't do a more senior role without working FT.
I think you need to go back and ask to discuss exactly what aspects of a more senior role they believe would not be possible within your current hours and see if you can work together to find solutions to those. Amending working hours, adding more support to cover the more junior aspects of your work, there are many options.
I would absolutely not take the more junior role.
FWIW, in some aspects I find being PT easier when more senior, for example I can dictate the timing of meetings plus I have people working for me who can cover when I am not there. I work hard to delegate as much as possible, make sure there is a nominated owner for every topic I am responsible for, and I focus on keeping everyone moving in the right strategic direction, reviewing results, problem solving etc., not doing 'the doing'. I can do this because of my knowledge and experience the number of hours I work is irrelevant.
Please raise it and help them see that there are other ways of working.
I agree that the more senior you are the easier it is to work flexibly. My other half is very senior and works very flexibly as he travels a lot.
I've calmed down a bit now so will plough on and hope they see sense one day...