Job sharing deputy directors at GCHQ and a pioneering scientist are among a list of the most successful people working part-time.

Timewise, which promotes flexible working, said its list highlighted the fight against the stigma that part-time means a lack of ambition or inability to have a responsible job.

The list includes job sharing deputy directors of counter terrorism at GCHQ – both mothers to young children, working 28 hours a week.

Others include Dr Jane Edwards, a scientist who played a key part in efforts to develop a Covid vaccine, and Dr Kerrie Thackray, a doctor who returned to the front line during the pandemic, following six years out of work raising five children.

A survey of 2,000 adults commissioned by Timewise to mark 10 years since the launch of its first list, found that half still do not believe it is possible to have a part-time career.

This compares with three in four when the same question was asked a decade ago.

Timewise said its analysis of official data showed that 750,000 people work in senior-level and business critical jobs in the UK, that are part-time.

Part-time workers account for a quarter of the UK’s working population, while most people wanted flexibility in their next job, said Timewise.

Coronavirus vaccine
A scientist who played a key part in efforts to develop a Covid vaccine is on the list (PA)

Its chief executive, Melissa Jamieson, said: “Working on the vaccine, fighting terrorism, saving lives on the front line. The winners of this year’s Power List prove beyond doubt that part-time workers come from a skilled and vital pool of talent that the UK needs.

“They change the conversation from what isn’t possible when you work fewer hours, to what is. Flexible workers may be facing their toughest year yet, in terms of stigma. We must keep making sure their voices are heard and their experiences are understood.”

Lynn Rattigan, EY’s chief operating officer in the UK and Ireland, said: “As long-standing supporters of flexible working, we’ve seen the benefits that agile working can bring to both our business and our people.

“Flexible working has enabled many of our people to build their careers while working part-time – whether to raise families, pursue a side-hustle, hobby or just have some extra time in their week.

“This year’s Timewise Power List winners are another impressive group of role models who are blazing a trail for others to follow. With many companies – including EY – transitioning to hybrid working post-pandemic, I hope that the Power List continues to inspire and prove what can be achieved.”