Daily Archives: Saturday 12 April 2008

Part-time smartschmuck-time

Cross posted on The Hand Mirror

The headline in Tuesday’s Australian says it – Part-timers fail at work, home. Beaton Consulting surveyed 10,000 white collar workers, and found that part-time workers feel that they are falling behind in their careers, working just as hard as their full-time counterparts, but paid less, and at the same time, they feel they simply don’t have enough family time. It’s a lose:lose situation.

You can get a PDF of the entire report here (2MB), or you can go read Penguin Unearthed’s excellent summary. Penguin Unearthed gives a measured analysis – I recommend reading it – but me, I’m going to be a little more rant-y about the whole flaming issue.

The report’s findings certainly gel with my own experience, and with what I know of the experience of other working mothers. That’s possibly because I have typically worked in so-called ‘knowledge’ jobs, where the output is dependent on my thinking and analysis and writing, not on producing widgets or providing service. When you’re in a knowledge job, the work is always with you, there’s always more that could be done. There’s always times when deadlines loom, and no matter what, you end up working late at night, or during your “time off”, to get something done. I can see that women, and men, who work in managerial jobs might have much the same experience – no matter what hours you officially work, the job always, always creeps over into your private life. The net result is that you end up working virtually full time, and getting paid part-time, but not progressing, not getting the promotions and the higher pay, because you simply are not physically there on the job during normal work hours. But your time at home with your family is over taken by work too. You end up stressed, tired, permanently struggling to keep up, juggling, juggling, juggling, all for lower wages than your colleagues. Lose, lose, lose, lose, lose.
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