Minister for women, Ruth Kelly, will grant nearly £500,000 to a number of organisations to create more quality part-time jobs at senior level, in an effort to reduce the gender pay gap.
The scheme comes a year after the Women and Work Commission report, which was commissioned by the prime minister to help women reach their full potential.
Royal Mail is one of the first beneficiaries – it was awarded £25,000 in funding from the Quality Part Time Work Fund. The company will need to match the grant to develop job-share and part-time managerial posts in two sorting office sites in London.
It aims to make 10% of management jobs on these sites part-time within 18 months.
Other successful bidders for the fund include Kelloggs, Tesco, three local authorities, Durham constabulary, and four voluntary sector organisations.
Kelly said: “The part-time pay gap is still too wide with women working part-time earning 40% less than men working full-time. Working with a range of employers across business, local government and the voluntary sector, we can kickstart the process of enabling more women to work part-time in senior posts.”