Karen Mattison on Systems Change

HOW WE ARE BUILDING A FAIRER JOBS MARKET FOR THE MANY

Karen Mattison

Ashoka Fellow since Dec 2011

 

The problem

How people work in the UK has changed dramatically in recent years - seven in 10 of the UK workforce has some form of flexibility in their working patterns, with almost as many men as women preferring to work in this way, and it cuts across all age groups, too.

And contrary to popular belief, needing to work part-time or flexibly is not a luxury – but a necessity – for millions of British workers at all stages in their careers... Be they parents, carers, people with disabilities, those working towards retirement, to those who simply want more control over when and where they work.

However the workplace – and in particular the jobs market – has not caught-up with this change. For many, flexibility is as important as salary – yet, most find themselves trapped when it comes to progressing their career. Our research shows that people who need to work flexibly are facing a block in the market, as less than one in 10 quality jobs are advertised with any form of flexibility.

This explains why so many people end-up stuck in low-paid roles with little hope of progression or, in many cases, abandon work altogether.

The shortage of jobs advertised with part-time or flexible hours is holding millions back in their careers.

The solution? Transforming the jobs market and how businesses hire, has the potential to bring tangible changes to the many who are unable to raise their earnings or progress their careers, because they are trapped by their need for flexibility.

How are we creating Systems Change

It’s for this reasons, that my co-founder, Emma Stewart and I, set-up Timewise to create system change in the UK jobs market. How?

  • We provide a marketplace for candidates to find flexible work through our jobsite, Timewise Jobs – the first site to exclusively advertise quality part-time and flexible jobs. We have over 100,000 registered candidates and we have advertised roles for over 3,000 companies.
  • We consult to some of the UK’s leading businesses – we help to ‘fix the workplace’ by redesigning jobs, and help change the way businesses think about hiring future talent.
  • We campaign for a better, fairer jobs market for all – we track the UK’s flexible jobs market, run the Timewise Power 50 awards to showcase great flexible leaders and work with government and business alike, to drive change in the market.

We are imagining a world where everyone can find the flexibility they need, without losing their value in the workplace.