"Amazon is piloting teams with a 30-hour workweek"—a small program of salaried employees that will work Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (plus additional flex hours) with the same benefits of full-time workers but only 75% of the salary. While on the surface this appears to be a creative attempt to fashion a better working environment for all employees (who recently accused the company, in a stinging New York Times piece, of fostering a viciously competitive hours-driven corporate culture), it could also be an attempt to diversify the gender of its workforce which is sadly only 39% female.
But if only women opt for this, how will this be perceived in the long term? Will they lose out on promotions? will other groups resent it? will this be seen as the "mommy track"? Will thse workers be considered for the same senior decision-making process ?
Reducing employee hours is a step toward bringing more reason and diversity to an out-of-whack workforce like Amazon’s. But what women really need is not reduced hours for reduced pay, but more help from their partners at home. And their partners also to opt for this shorter work week.