The Power Part Timers 2020

Revealed: the country's most senior part-time and flexible workers.

by Kate Bassett
Last Updated: 24 Feb 2020

Robbie Gibbons, Accenture

Global director of business operations, Accenture technology delivery

Pattern worked: 80 per cent

Gibbons is the global director of business operations for Accenture Technology Delivery. He has worked part-time since 2015, and was promoted on this basis in 2018. In his current role, he leads an international team of nearly 50 professionals across five continents to drive strategic programmes, enhance portfolio performance, and oversee the governance of Accenture Technology’s client activities. Gibbons initiated a part-time working pattern so he could share the responsibility with his wife of bringing up two daughters while balancing career goals. He is an advocate for using technology to minimise travel, and acts as a role model for others looking to achieve flexible working – including supporting members of his own team to work part-time.


Head of UK corporate consulting

Pattern worked: 80 per cent contract

Having spent three years as people lead to a team that won over 100 new clients with 99 per cent retention, Gartside was promoted in early 2019 to be Aon’s first ever part-time head of UK corporate consulting. Since then, her team has delivered similarly strong results. Gartside began working four days a week in 2010 and has changed her patterns at times, always working an 80 per cent contract. Aon also allows her to work longer hours at busier times of the year, which means she can take more time off in summer to spend with her family. Gartside has supported many other colleagues to return to work after maternity leave and to excel in part-time roles.

NICK STRANGE, Bank of England

Director (acting), supervisory risk specialists

Pattern worked: 4 days per week

Leading around 200 experts to identify, analyse and mitigate risks to financial stability is just one side to Strange’s role at the Bank of England. He’s also responsible for leading the bank’s strategy to improve the cyber resilience of firms regulated by the bank and of the UK’s financial system as a whole, and co-chairs the bank’s LGBT+ and Allies Network. Strange’s decision to change his working pattern is also multi-faceted: he wanted time to enjoy more opportunities with his husband, who’s partially-sighted, and provide more care for his elderly parents. Strange has successfully achieved this fine balance by combining part-time with flex, using flexible hours and flexing his non-working day with working from home.

RIFCA LE DIEU, Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust

Clinical senior lecturer and honorary consultant in haemato-oncology

Pattern worked: 3 days per week

Two years ago, Le Dieu moved from research to a teaching role at Queen Mary University of London, with the responsibility of transforming four undergraduate modules. Following her involvement one module, which had previously received rock-bottom student feedback, came top. Since then, she has been given an Excellence in Teaching Award by her department and nominated for a University award. Le Dieu’s original role was advertised as full-time in 2011. However, with twin boys both on the autistic spectrum and a young daughter, Le Dieu believes she could not have continued working in medicine without negotiating a part-time working pattern. Le Dieu uses her experience and passion to help others as the Barts’ Health Champion of Flexible Working.



Pattern worked: 4 days per week

Already working a pattern of three full days and two half days a week, Reid was promoted to director at BDO LLP, leading the model build business in one of the UK’s largest accountancy and business advisory firms. In her first year in this role, Reid led an initiative resulting in over 50 per cent growth of monetised fees and tripling the size of her team. Reid joined the business in 2005 and adjusted her hours when she returned to work to combine her career growth with caring for her daughter. The firm also supports Reid with four weeks of unpaid leave during school summer holidays. BDO LLP’s head of M&A says Reid encourages others and shows part-time shouldn’t limit ambition.

HOLLY POWER, Chelsea Academy

Assistant principal

Pattern worked: 80 per cent contract

As assistant principal at Chelsea Academy, Power’s role comes with many responsibilities including the progress and wellbeing of over 300 young people, managing middle leaders, careers provision and the development of the most able students. As a member of the leadership team, she contributes to day-to-day decisions as well as the future vision and sustainability of the academy. Under Power’s watch, Chelsea Academy has gone from strength to strength, and is now in the top 10 per cent of sixth form schools in the country. After teaching for 12 years and with two young sons, Power went parttime to found ‘Return to Teach’, an initiative that matches experienced teachers to flexible posts, providing a solution to the teacher retention crisis.

NICOLA KEMP, Creativebrief

Managing editor, BITE

Pattern worked: 4 days per week

Kemp’s responsibilities as managing editor of BITE, Creativebrief’s trends and editorial platform, include running and shaping its direction, managing her team, controlling the content and strategy of BITE LIVE, and speaking at industry events to raise Creativebrief’s profile. In just six months, the year-on-year increase in BITE’s page views has grown by 53 per cent. Kemp was hired into the role on a part-time basis. She secured extra flexibility later with one day working from home and one day off that changes depending on the demands of work and family – a pattern that is also available to anyone in her team. Kemp says she works part-time because she’s ambitious in everything she does, whether as a professional or as a parent.



Pattern worked: 80 per cent contract

Already an audit partner working with listed companies, Houldsworth was promoted in 2019 to lead 650 people in Deloitte’s new public audit group, focusing on operational and people leadership, and developing leaders of the future. She also leads the organisation’s Women on Boards programme, supporting senior female leaders in taking their first steps towards joining a board. Houldsworth chose to go part-time 18 months ago to help combine the challenges of work with parenting her 11-year-old twins, one of whom has been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder, learning difficulties and mental health challenges. An early advocate of Deloitte’s agile working approach, Houldsworth actively encourages her team to seek a flexible working pattern, and mentors returners.

MELANIE THOMAS, Dixons Carphone

Head of property programme

Pattern worked: 4 days per week

As head of property programme at Dixons Carphone, Thomas is responsible for leading and delivering change through cross-functional teams. She has managed a £60m multi-year project that has transformed the company’s property portfolio, and is currently running a programme to improve range, space and the instore experience for customers. Thomas started working part-time nine years ago after the loss of her daughter to make sure she got the right work-life balance. Her arrangement means she can spend quality time with her family and manage her own mental and physical wellbeing while still having a fulfilling and challenging career. Thomas was the first person within her leadership team to go part-time and she supports her team members to find a pattern that works for them too.


Strategy director

Pattern worked: 4 days per week

Over the last four years at Exposure, Jackson has led the strategic direction for some of the creative communications agency’s biggest clients. His achievements in this role include launching Google Hire’s first US brand campaign and helping Glenfiddich regain their status as the UK’s leading malt whisky brand. Jackson was hired on a flexible four-day week contract in 2015. This has allowed him to gain a first-class MSc in Sport Psychology and set up his own private consultancy, working with elite and GB athletes, teams and businesses. Jackson is due to complete his training as a chartered psychologist in 2021-2022. His example has inspired people with side projects to join the business, confident that they too can juggle work with personal projects.


Chief innovation officer, UK & Ireland

Pattern worked: 60 per cent contract

Gaskell’s responsibilities include overseeing EY’s technology investments in the UK and Ireland, working with a team of 100 people. Over the last two years, he’s also worked with innovation teams to introduce over 50 software tools to improve efficiency. In 2018, Gaskell felt he needed more time outside of work and requested a 60 per cent contract. He now works from Tuesday to Thursday, which gives him time to pursue his own interests, as well as continuing external roles such as governor of University of the Arts London. Gaskell proactively encourages flexible and part-time working, and five of his team have already changed their working patterns under his leadership.



Pattern worked: 4 days per week

Matthews has built the EY Foundation from a start-up to a national charity over the last five years. The Foundation supports young people facing barriers to securing fulfilling employment and help social entrepreneurs scale up sustainably. Under Matthews’ lead, the charity’s impact has grown year-on-year, working with 4,000 young people and over 300 employers across 17 towns and cities over the last year, with an annual turnover of more than £3m. Matthews was originally hired to EY on a part-time basis and, when she was appointed to Foundation CEO, she took the arrangement with her. Matthews’ working pattern allows her to care for both her son with special needs and her daughter. She has fully integrated part-time and flexible working across the EY Foundation.

LYNN DEMEDA, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Director of workforce

Pattern worked: 3 days per week

Demeda leads a number of strategic workforce programmes at Guy’s and St Thomas’ including digital workforce systems, flexible working and collaborative NHS partnerships delivering people strategies. One recent partnership achievement has been the reduction of temporary staffing spend by £6.5m across three NHS Trusts and being held as a model of good practice. She is leading the cultural shift on flexible working and is an advocate and role model for remote and flexible working and commonly refers to having her ‘office’ in her handbag. On her return from maternity leave, Demeda changed her working pattern to three days a week to balance her professional and family life. Demeda regularly speaks at conferences on staff retention, engagement, health and wellbeing, agile HR and flexible working.


IBM IX leader for UK & Ireland

Pattern worked: 4 days per week, plus August off

Gilbert is the UK & Ireland leader of IBM iX, a professional services organisation which is home to over 550 strategists, designers, creatives, technical superstars and data gurus, who are working to solve some of the biggest industry challenges. Her responsibilities include delivering annual revenues, building c-suite relationships, developing market offerings, and recruitment, training and growth of talent across six practices. Gilbert was hired into this role part-time and last year added an arrangement to take every August off. As a single parent to two young boys, this gives her time with her family and space to recharge. Gilbert makes sure flexible working is an option for anyone, not just parents, supporting her team with job shares and other flexible patterns.


Director, management consulting

Pattern worked: 4 days per week

As a senior director in KPMG’s health consulting business, Jewell leads complex projects with hospitals to improve services, making better environments for both patients and staff. One example, the Great Western Sussex Hospitals, recently received the highest-ever rating, with the UK Care Quality regulator stating it was ‘outstanding in every domain’. Internally, Jewell also leads the hospital operational excellence business and the public sector operations practice, and is responsible for more than 100 people and over £30m of annual revenue. Having taken a three-month career break before the birth of his second child, Jewell asked to return on a four-day week. He encourages his wider team to join him in working flexibly, proactively coaching staff to formally move to part-time.

SARAH MACFARLANE, London Stock Exchange Group

Managing director, legal, group technology services

Pattern worked: 4 days per week

Macfarlane’s responsibilities include managing a team of ten lawyers located in London, Italy and Sri Lanka, and advising senior management on legal matters and initiatives with a focus on IT, IP and corporate/commercial. She is also a member of the group’s leadership team, the CIO’s senior management team and sits on various operational steering committees. Macfarlane moved to a four-day week after the birth of her first child and shares parenting of her three children with her husband, who also works flexibly. Outside of work, she volunteers as chair of her daughter’s playgroup. Macfarlane recently encouraged her team to take part in a flexible working pilot scheme.


General counsel

Pattern worked: 80 per cent contract

A dual-qualified UK and New York lawyer, Tomlins is the first general counsel at MADE.COM, supporting the company’s rapid European growth. Her team provide strategic legal advice across all the company’s departments and countries of operation, including the 11 countries where its designer furniture and homeware products are sold online. Prior to this role, Tomlins worked in private practice and then at Just Eat, where she was part of the team that oversaw the company’s £387m London IPO in 2014. Macfarlane was hired in a full-time capacity and moved to part-time six months after returning from maternity leave. She has championed one of her paralegals to move to a part-time arrangement, enabling her to pursue her legal qualifications while continuing to work.

MARC NOHR, Miroma/Fold7

Group CEO Miroma Agencies, chairman of Fold7

Pattern worked: 4 days per week

Nohr joined advertising agency Fold7 as CEO four years ago, leading the way in attracting clients and talent, before spearheading a deal to sell a majority stake to Miroma Group. Now Group CEO of Miroma Agencies, his responsibilities include developing the group proposition and supporting business leaders to reach their potential. Nohr moved to a four-day week while at Fold7 and was appointed to his new role on the same basis. He believes this allows him to be a more effective leader by learning, networking and involving himself in the wider community. He is chair of the IPA’s commercial leadership group, chair of charity JW3, director of London Krav Maga and is open to flexible working and ideas which get the best out of people


Director, future retail markets

Pattern worked: 4 days per week

As Ofgem’s director of future retail markets, Pickford leads a multidisciplinary team of 60 people. She is responsible for delivering a diverse portfolio of work with a focus on the decarbonisation of the energy system. She also regulates issues faced by suppliers in the current market, such as those facing financial difficulties. Pickford chose to go part-time after returning from maternity leave with her first child, and has been promoted three times since. Now, with four children in her family, she has changed her pattern a number of times to improve her work-life balance. Pickford promotes flexible working in Ofgem by regularly mentoring individuals who are considering flexible working, and has also mentored on a group basis.

VIDHYA ALAKESON, Power to Change

Chief executive

Pattern worked: 90 per cent contract

As the CEO of Power to Change, an independent trust supporting community businesses across England, Alakeson oversees every area of the Trust’s work from funding and support programmes to research and policy advocacy. Under her lead, the trust has distributed £60m in funding to over 1,000 organisations. She’s also responsible for raising the public profile of the critical role community businesses play in addressing economic and social challenges across the country, by writing, influencing, and through speaking at various events. Alakeson works part-time to enable her to spend one day a week with her two young children. She has established a flexible organisational culture for all employees, with 21 out of 47 employees working flexibly, and five people working almost entirely remotely.

JUNE ANGELIDES, Samos Investments

Investment manager

Pattern worked: 3 days per week

Angelides is an investment manager at Samos Investments, a venture capital investor with a focus on high growth European businesses. Prior to this, she set up Mums in Tech, through which she mentored and taught 250 women to code. Angelides was hired into the role on a part-time basis and negotiated the flexibility to work from home to support her in caring for her three children. In this current role, she feels she has found a flexible working pattern that helps her achieve a good work-life balance. Angelides was named the FT’s sixth most Influential BAME Tech Leader in 2018. She champions flexible working by sharing her story at events and blogging, showing that you can work flexibly and continue to progress in your career.


Global head of marketing and communications

Pattern worked: 25 hours per week

Kayser has worked her way up the ranks at Steer and now reports to the board and executive management developing the firm’s strategic direction for communications, business development and internal engagement. She manages a team which works across Europe, Asia and the Americas. In 2014, Kayser decided to give something back to society and went part-time to found her first charity, Wild at Heart Foundation, which focuses on reducing the world’s 600 million stray dog population. In 2019, Kayser set up her second charity, Underdog International, a global charity which focuses on providing therapy dogs to children, currently working in Africa, Mainland Europe and the UK. Her Underdog team all work flexibly from home, and her team at Steer follow a range of working patterns.



Pattern worked: 24 hours per week

Healey is CEO of Supportive Care UK, a CQC-regulated specialist clinical service which provides out-of-hours support to hospitals and hospices across the UK. With her core team of eight, she manages a large national network of consultants and nurses who specialise in end-of-life care, pain and symptom control. Healey reports to a board of directors and takes ultimate responsibility for everything in the business, from steering strategic direction and heading financial decisions, to building relationships with NHS Trusts, hospitals and hospices. She was recruited part-time at her request, as she runs a French clothing business alongside SCUK. A firm advocate of flexible working, she recruits people for skills and qualities first, then works with them to find the right flexible working pattern.

AMELIA LAKE, Teesside University

Professor in human nutrition

Pattern worked: 3 days per week

As Teesside University’s professor in public human nutrition, Lake explores the obesogenic food environment. One of her recent studies supported the ban on energy drinks being sold to under-16s; she has also spoken at the Government Commons Select Committee. Lake has worked a three-day week since 2012 and was promoted to professor in August 2019. Away from the University, Amelia is an associate director for Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health across the North East. She also runs The David Ashwell Foundation, with her husband, in memory of their son David, who died 15 days after his birth from Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia (ACD). Since 2011, they have raised over £200,000, helping to fund nine research projects into the genetics of ACD


Head of product, in-store customer transactions

Pattern worked: 4 days per week

Quiggin has held many different roles in her 19 years at Tesco and is currently responsible for global product vision, strategy, roadmap, and tech solutions that support customers as they buy products in-store. This includes overseeing a project to develop every till, self-service checkout and scan-as-you-shop handset so they are even easier to use. Quiggin has been part-time since 2004. She initially returned to work after maternity leave on a full-time basis, and subsequently negotiated a new working pattern, finding that one day off each week helps balance home and work-life. Sarah also mentors colleagues who are considering or returning to part-time roles or working flexibly.

MATT WESTMORE, The Wessex Institute, University of Southampton


Pattern worked: 90 per cent contract across 4 days

Westmore is director of the Wessex Institute, an enterprise unit at the University of Southampton (UoS) that funds, manages, publishes and disseminates £200m of research each year. He was promoted from his previous role as operations director in which he managed budgets across the organisation’s operational and research activities. In this position, he secured £151m of new business, including a contract worth £139m. Westmore chose to work flexibly to balance work with a busy home life; he was hired on this basis, and will continue to work flexibly in his new role. He appoints and promotes flexible working colleagues, and also wrote an article about his reasons for going part-time for the Wessex Institute’s staff brochure about different working patterns.

Image credit: Julian Dodd. Pictured left to right: June Angelides; Tracey Gilbert; Harry Gaskell; Lisa Tomlins; Marc Nohr; and job-sharers Andy Hulme and Madeleine McDougall

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