Karen Mattison

Meet the woman changing the meaning of ‘part time’ work

As part of our Future Shapers series, in partnership with Neutrogena, we've scoured the country to find 2016's hot new innovators

The workplace trailblazer – Karen Mattison MBE, 47

Mattison is the co-founder and joint CEO of Timewise, the UK’s first marketplace to introduce employees who are seeking flexible working options to businesses searching for the best part-time talent

Identify a need, and then fulfil it. Timewise was borne out of frustration when I realised that as a skilled, ambitious person looking for a senior role with some flexibility, recruiters told me that this wasn’t possible. It’s something that 72 per cent of people also believe, and why women often drop out of the workplace when they have children. I found myself trapped in a role that I had outgrown, just because it was part-time and fitted around my child. But I couldn’t accept that situation, so I turned my frustration into a business idea.


You don’t have to do it alone. Setting up a business is a bumpy ride, and I wouldn’t have enjoyed doing it on my own. My relationship with my business partner is like a marriage – it is based on trust, cooperation and hard work. We have different strengths and, honestly, we’ve never had an argument.

‘Part-time’ is no longer a dirty word. More than half of employees in the UK now work with some form of flexibility and we have the highest number of men working part-time now, too. This isn’t just about mums – it’s about everyone wanting more control over their careers and their lifestyles.

The portfolio career is here to stay. I have definitely learnt the importance of being good at more than one thing. Being agile spreads your risk and will make for a more interesting career across your lifetime.

#passiton ‘Don’t wait for opportunities. Set targets and take small steps to tick them off.’

Follow all the buzz around Future Shapers with our hashtag #FUTURESHAPERS.

Reading now

Popular Life stories