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Haverhill businesswoman feels 'privileged' after receiving top accolade for part-time workers

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An award which recognises some of the most successful part-time workers in the UK has been handed to a Haverhill businesswoman.

Babita Devi, who works as innovation director at The EpiCentre in Haverhill two days a week, has been named as winner of the 2022 Timewise Power List. The news was announced yesterday.

The list aims to change perceptions around part-time work and what kind of roles can be carried out successfully on four days a week or fewer.

Babita Devi picked up the top accolade yesterday. Picture: Babi Devi. (56599953)
Babita Devi picked up the top accolade yesterday. Picture: Babi Devi. (56599953)

Previous winners of the award include Nicola Mendelsohn, now VP at Facebook, Katie Bickerstaffe, co-CEO at Marks and Spencer and Lynn Rattigan, chief operating officer of EY UKI.

Upon winning, Babita, of Cambridge, said: "Receiving this award is an honour and I am privileged to be amongst individuals who are making a significant difference in their field.

"More than ever, companies need to find ways to meet the needs of their staff – including options to work part-time.

"The net result of this is they bring their ‘best self’ to work – and this is priceless.

"I truly believe that companies leveraging flexible working are attracting and retaining some of the best talent available."

Babita's role is to drive economic growth in the East of England.

She took on the innovation director role during the coronavirus pandemic and has spent the last 18 months helping high potential start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises develop cutting-edge innovations.

After managing the challenges of raising children, whilst working full-time, Babita decided to change her work commitments and created a portfolio career.

This means she can coach and mentor companies on programmes, assume board level roles and build her own company, without limiting time spent with her family.

Melissa Jamieson, Timewise CEO, said Babita was a 'true role model' for others wanting to work flexibly.

"Conversation around part-time work in the UK usually pivot around what’s not possible," she said. "The Power List showcases what is.

"Flexible workers may be facing their toughest year yet, in terms of stigma as well as the dominance of hybrid working in the flexible working conversation, reducing critical discussions around other forms of flexible and part-time work.

"We must keep making sure their voices are heard, their experiences are understood, and that their incredible talents and achievements are seen."