Most of the country’s best-paid jobs are “no-go” areas for part-time workers and women, according to a new study.
Research by the TUC showed that two-thirds of the 900,000 employees in the highest paid occupations, such as financial managers and medical practitioners, are male.
Fewer than one in seven employees in top jobs work shorter hours, said the TUC. Just six per cent of chief executives and senior company officials, with an average hourly wage of over £43, work part-time and only one in four is female.
In contrast, the lowest-paid occupations such as retail assistants and cleaners are dominated by women and part-time work.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Young women are more than able to match their male colleagues as they start out in their careers. But too much of their talent and experience goes to waste as soon as they have children and seek greater flexibility in their working hours.
“Employers’ blinkered refusal to allow senior staff to work part-time and flexibly means that many top-paying occupations are complete ‘no-go’ areas for staff wanting to work shorter hours. Instead, millions of women are forced into low-paying sectors.
“This ensuing descent into working poverty is all too familiar for millions of women working part-time – two in five of whom currently earn less than the living wage.
“So far the Government’s efforts appear to be focused on getting more women into the boardroom. But whilst it’s important to have more women in these top positions, the other 99 per cent of the female workforce cannot be ignored.
“We need more senior positions opened up to part-time and flexible work, so that a reduction in your hours doesn’t result in poverty rates of pay.”