A list of Australia’s most powerful part-time workers has been complied with an aim of breaking down stereotypes surrounding flexible working arrangements.
Now in its second year, Women’s Agenda and website Professionalmums.net put the list together to highlight part-timers holding powerful positions in business.
The study asked the top 150 businesses in Australia – including Suncorp, Origin Energy and ANZ – to nominate their most powerful part-time workers.
The result is a list which features 22 women and two men, each working less than five days a week in their esteemed positions.
This year’s winner was Michelle Bain, associate general counsel at finance giant Suncorp.
According to Women’s Agenda, Ms Bain works four days “flexibly” at Suncorp, and “leaves early to spend evening with family and logs-in remotely as needed.”
Ms Bain was offered the position on secondment when she fell pregnant with her third child and returned to the role in a permanent capacity after taking parental leave.
In second place was Petrea Bradford, who works four days as general manager of Solar and Asia Renewables at Origin Energy.
Ms Bradford said Origin allowed her to work flexibly around late night-night calls to South America and Asia, and international travel every 4–6 weeks.
In third place was Caroline Beattie, a senior manager in Corporate Development at AGL who also works a four-day week.
The list included two men: John Hancock, general manager of People and Culture and Origin Energy and Jim Nemeth, general manager in Taxation at ANZ.
Of the list, Women’s Agenda said “the lack of high profile men in flexible roles conspires to make flexibility—to its detriment—a female issue.”