“There’s a chance that the person serving your coffee at the weekend might be one of the CEOs of the future,” she told HR magazine.
“Technology is fundamentally changing the way the younger generation thinks about jobs, and it’s important for us to support our youth and what they need. The way that young women [in particular] work has changed dramatically over the past 50 years; they’re far more entrepreneurial, they’re tech-savvy, and they’re really shaping the industry of tomorrow.”
Montano’s points echo research by Henley Business School showing that there has been a surge in the number of people running their own businesses outside of their day jobs.
To champion part-time workers, hiring app JOB TODAY and photographer Lewis Khan are holding an exhibition later this year entitled Saturday Girls.
The aim is to show how part-time work has changed from a necessity to a form of empowerment for many young women. It will feature 10 portraits of women at various life stages who work part time, including a working mother, a student juggling work with studies, and a woman using part-time work to allow her to also run a business on the side.
“This is a celebration of young, inspirational, female workers today, who are really using part-time work to enhance their lives,” Montano commented.
“We wanted to show the benefits that part-time jobs can bring. Working as a barista or in retail can give you a lot of skills; it’s a way for young people to work out what they’re good at and to be able to adapt for a changing job market.”
Regarding the closure of hundreds of branches of prominent high street stores, Montano added that although this might suggest a bleak outlook for the retail sector (which has a 60% female workforce), there will always be a place for traditional customer service roles.
“It’s all about having the right people at the right moment. People will always enjoy going out, they’ll always want to go to restaurants, or bars, or want to have the experience of being served by a real person in a store. Employers will always need staff to cope with that demand," she said.
“But there are also huge challenges in customer service and hospitality roles where sometimes the turnover rate can be as high as 80%. So it’s really important that with predicted talent shortages we can work to understand what young people want from work, how they’re looking for jobs, and the skillsets they can bring,” she said.