Better quality part-time work should be encouraged says the research
Part-time work is confining nearly three million women to jobs that do not employ them to their full potential, according to new research.
A survey carried out by academics at Sheffield Hallam University found the women were either over-qualified or had more experience then necessary.
The main reason was the lack of part-time jobs at more senior levels.
A further 1.4 million women are not working because they cannot find jobs that fit their domestic arrangements.
The researchers, led by Professor Sue Yeandle, found that many managers did not like the idea of senior staff working part-time.
"If the UK is to continue to prosper, then the skills, talent and enthusiasm of half its population cannot continue to be under-utilised in this way" she said.
Professor Yeandle and her colleagues found it was often the case that part-time women workers had limited promotion opportunities.
The result was to trap over-qualified women in low paid jobs if they wanted to stay working part-time.
The researchers interviewed 333 women in 22 work places as part of a research programme called Gender and Employment in Local Labour Markets (GELLM).
The findings of the research will be presented at a conference at the TUC on 13 July.