UK women abandon nine-to-five routine

More than half of all female workers in the UK have already left or are seriously considering escaping the conventional nine-to-five working world in a bid to invent their own working patterns, according to a new report.

The survey of more than 1,000 employees and 500 employers, by global recruitment and HR consultancy Hudson, reveals that 84% of professional women believe the nine-to-five routine of conventional employment is being spurned by their sex.

Preferring to follow a career path that offers flexibility, rather than fit in with the demands of the corporate world, they are planning to set up their own businesses, retrain, work flexibly or pursue a ‘portfolio’ career.

Geraldine Hetherington, chief operating officer of Hudson UK, said: “Many women have tasted corporate life and have decided there are better ways of making their mark on the world than following the traditional working model set before them.

“It’s not just the demands of family life that are encouraging women to reject working conventions in favour of their own methods; to have more control over where, when and how they work, they are setting up their own businesses, retraining or pursuing a ‘portfolio’ (or freelance) career.”

Main findings:

  • Almost half (47%) of all female professionals do not expect to be working full time in 2010.

  • Almost three quarters (73%) of female professionals are disappointed with their career progress to date.

  • Many employers (70%) recognise that women are much more likely than men to pursue alternative ways of progressing their careers.

  • Nearly two thirds (64%) of employers admit that if more women left to pursue unconventional career paths, it would have a major impact on their business and their ability to recruit sufficient talent.

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