Diversity and Inclusion at Monzo

Lovely post, and love the practical actions you’ve taken to increase diversity.

I have a suggestion for something else you could look at in addition to flexible-working: part-time working.

I’ve been a developer for the past 15 years. I’m also a mum, and I have a little toddler, and am currently pregnant. Like a lot of women with young children I wanted to work part-time, and luckily the company I work for were open to that, and so I work 3 days a week. They also were flexible with hours, so I work on schedule that means I can work a bit earlier, and pick up my son from his childminders in the evening (my husband does the drop-off).

Arrangements such as this are pretty common in many industries. But in the tech industry it seems to be quite unusual. As a developer I get many recruiters pinging me on LinkedIn - instead of my usual “thanks, but I’m happy in my role at the moment” reply, as an experiment I adjusted to a “I only work 3 days a week at the moment, and this is something I want to continue with” - with only one exception this worked great as a way of stopping the conversation. The replies were typically along the lines of “we really need a full-time person for all our roles”. Some recruiters started pinging me every few months to ask if anything had changed, and if I was ready to go back to full-time now, as if I obviously would.

Frankly, it’s a good job I like my current job, because if I didn’t I’d be stuck getting another. What annoys me is that there’s no reason for the tech industry to be so sniffy about part-time work. After all it’s normal for people to work part-time in schools and hospitals, where it’s far more essential that the work day is fully covered. Really it’s about companies not wanting to bother with the hassle, and having a mostly young and male work-force, not needing to bother with the hassle.

To give some numbers to illustrate my point. According to the Office of National Statistics figures 40% of women who are employed are employed part-time. (Link to raw numbers: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/datasets/fulltimeparttimeandtemporaryworkersseasonallyadjustedemp01sa) Also the UK birth-rate is around 1.6 children per woman (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/birthsummarytablesenglandandwales/2016).

I hope these figures show that I’m not usual; it’s pretty normal to have children, and it’s pretty normal to work part-time. So what’s up with the world of tech? Why are we pretending it’s so unusual?


I’m glad to see this has been considered and is being considered for the new offices. It’s definitely the worst part of going to the open office events - no toilets I’d feel safe using if I needed to!

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I couldn’t agree more. And I’ll add that it’s important for men to have this option too – especially if we want to see a world where child care is equally shared.


Thanks @emilgreeny!

We totally agree that getting that work-life balance right is really important, especially for parents. We have a number of mums and dads here at Monzo, so it’s absolutely something we’re open to.

Here’s a quote from our engineering job ads that says it better than I could:

“We care deeply about inclusive working practices and diverse teams. If you’d prefer to work part-time or as a job-share, we’ll facilitate this wherever we can - whether to help you meet other commitments or to help you strike a great work-life balance.”

I’d love for us to go into this in more detail. So hopefully we can share a blog or forum post soon from one of our Monzo parents telling their story. Stay tuned!

Hope that helps :heart:


@cookywook thanks! That totally helps. Lovely response. I’m so pleased this is something you’ve taken action on already.

@jzw95 you’re totally right. My husband, who’s also a developer, has had his own struggles. He worked 4 days a week whilst I was last on maternity leave, and he had to really push to get that - his company were extremely reluctant. He’s now in a new job, who weirdly for tech jobs, don’t do flexible working for engineers. He has set working hours instead, and I have to set my working hours to fit around his. Sometimes I’d love to swap the childminder evening pickups for the morning drop-offs so I could go to a tech meetup, or meetup with friends in the evening - but it’s just not possible. Ironically his company publicly make a big deal of being pro-diversity!


I know nothing about the industry but I would’ve thought developers would be able to work flexibly/remotely.

Is the problem the businesses are just not bothered to introduce it?


As discussed above, it was a large discussion before moving into our present premises and will be again before moving into our next office. For our present place it did come down to cost and time but I hope and believe we can solve this for the next office as part of our commitment to inclusion :grinning:


Awesome, I’m really glad to hear that! Being able to feel safe in toilets is a huge thing…


@j06 you’re right to a certain extent. Most companies allow remote working for developers, and most have some idea of flexible hours because it’s unusual to have set working hours, so people usually chose the time of day they come to and leave work. But part-time jobs are rare, and there’s really no good reason for that.


It can be a management thing. I was working from home creating software for banks and insurance companies then the manager changed and she insisted we all work from their office instead :frowning:

She wanted to keep and eye on us and ensure we were being productive but personally I felt we were less productive than when we were at home without distractions putting in the hours whenever we felt like.

How long ago was that? Paternity leave is a legal right since 2002 (the company I work for allows more or less unlimited paternity leave although nobody that I know of has had more than a couple of months at once).

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I was talking about part-time work not paternity leave. But as it so happened he initially did request shared parental leave and they flatly refused. This would have been in early 2016. It was probably illegal for them to refuse, but there was nothing we could really do about it short of getting a lawyer involved - and that would’ve been expensive, time-consuming, and made his on-going situation at work feel uncomfortable. He doesn’t work there anymore!

I wonder if you could make a claim to an employment tribunal?

Edit: just found this

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It is unusual for people to work three-day weeks in tech.

I think it’s important for team and project continuity that all teammates work a standard week, and preferably standard hours too. Development is not a lonesome exercise. Team bonding and a working rhythm is important.

I’m blown away by the sense of entitlement on display here, with people expecting that a well-established industry will change its practises and norms to suit their niche requirements.


Niche requirements? I’m pretty sure there are a lot of parents out there who would happily work if their job allows for more flexibility. I know a lot of people in tech who alternate between working at the office for a couple of days a week and working remotely- technology allows them to do so and shouldn’t we embrace that? I’m sure there are other staff members who work “standard” hours and it’s not a loss for a few people to take less/flexible hours based on what they need.

It’s not really so much that they can’t get their jobs done out of the office, but some workplaces are to lazy to even conceive that there might be a different way to do things. It’s no wonder tech gets a rep for being an industry dominated by single/ childless people, if they lose valuable staff just like that.


This is a reason I love this for a job, the flexibility that is allowed and encouraged regarding hours and place of work.


Having children is a niche requirement?

You are joking, right? You do know this is the Diversity and Inclusion thread, not the 1950s, don’t you?


Yes, the establishment is always right. How dare people who aren’t well served by it criticise or agitate for change!


It’s not entitlement to expect employers to be flexible (some legal requirements mean they have to now as all employees can ask for flexible working). Why when I can talk to my team via skype, slack and do my work from home equally as well do I need to travel to an office?

Or why does a parent with kids need to work 9-5 rather than 9-3? When they can work equally as professionally and effectively during those hours?

What is standard hours? Im a developer for a science company and we don’t have “standard hours” due to our customers being all over the world. I work 7:30am - 3:30pm (UK time) and that’s certainly not standard but my employer was willing to be flexible with my regards to travel.

I definitely wouldn’t want to work with/for someone who deems being flexible as “being entitled”


yes, that sort of person sounds like they get the women in their office to get the coffee and teas and take notes in meetings…just like decades ago…Christ, I thought we had progressed beyond that!..glad I don’t work in his place…it reminds me of the days when I went to a funeral and the boss complained and told me “your relative would have to die at an inconvienient time” and “shame they couldn’t have had the funeral in the afternoon rather than the morning”!