In our Q2 newsletter we ran a survey to find out what the attitude was in the actuarial community here in Ireland in relation to both part time work and the option of working from home. We had fewer responses to this poll than to other polls that we have run which perhaps points to a lack of interest in this particular subject which is also reflected in the lack of part time opportunities for actuaries. In addition we have found that home working is never an option for new employees.
Our own experience of part time opportunities is that most actuaries who are in part time roles attained these by arrangements with their existing employers – these individuals would have started in full time positions and have then been able to negotiate part time hours due to a change in personal circumstance. It is very rare that a requirement comes up for a new part time actuary. Where we had assumed that part time work was of most interest to females actually the survey showed that part time work is of equal interest to male actuaries as it is to female actuaries but it’s the female actuaries who are more vocal in expressing an interest in part time work. We didn't ask the question about whether job sharing is possible for actuarial roles and I have yet to come across anyone in a job share arrangement at this level.
The results of this survey are informative however due to the low response rate they may not be reliable. Some interesting stats from the survey were as follows:
84% of you confirmed that you believed it is possible to fulfill your duties as actuaries on a part time basis but only 15% of you confirmed that your organisation employ actuaries and trainee actuaries on a part time basis.
28% of respondents expressed an interest in working on a part time basis and of these there was an equal ratio of males and females. 100% of respondents confirmed that they wanted to see more opportunities for part time actuaries at all levels.
85% of respondents felt that it is feasible to fulfill actuarial roles working from a home office and 57% of respondents had been enabled to work from home on occasion.