Women in Science
Part-time and flexible working
Video clip: Bryony explains why people who work part-time may feel under pressure to finish projects faster than is possible in the circumstances.
Do any people work part time in your department?
Yes, a couple, and those that do, one lady in particular and I think she feels quite a lot of pressure, that, you know, she isn’t producing as much, or she is trying to fit in five days a week in three, basically and she’s a postdoc. She works incredibly hard and I think she does feel on the back foot a bit rather than being able to accept that her project will move slower because she’s not working five days. She feels that she’s constantly behind, which I completely understand. I think I would probably feel the same.
Do you think pressure comes from above or do you think it’s just from herself?
In that particular case, both actually. So management are very open to part-time positions. That’s not a problem on paper, but I think there is a kind of expectation, that maybe you set up a project and then when it doesn’t move as quickly, there’s ‘Well, why don’t you do this? Why don’t you do this?’ And she’s sort of saying, ‘Well I can’t. I’m not here on Friday so, or I can’t do that experiment.’