The minister for women, Ruth Kelly, has announced the launch of a new drive to reduce the gender pay gap in the workplace and promote a better work-life balance for the UK's employees.
More than 100 organisations, including Asda and Goldman Sachs, have signed up to an Exemplar Employer scheme committing them to reduce the gender pay gap since it was launched in September, she said.
Among the initiatives involved in the scheme are projects to retain women at a senior management level through mentoring, online job share registers for women returning from maternity and support groups for parents.
Ms Kelly said: "Just because a woman trades down her hours does not mean she should have to trade down her status.
"The best employers understand the hard headed business reasons for extending quality flexible and part-time roles for women. As take up for the Exemplar Employer scheme proves, there is a huge appetite for change."