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Updates from Team Bulb

Minding the gender pay gap

We have no gender pay gap at Bulb. Which is just as it should be. But, we know there’s more we could do. We’d love to hear your ideas.

By Hayden Wood, Co-founder

Recently Rachel Reeves, MP and chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, raised an important question. In a meeting with a selection of Energy Suppliers - both large and small - she asked about their gender pay gap. This is an interesting question for Energy companies. Both the technology and the energy industry have a systemic gender bias when it comes to hiring. As we’ve said before, it can be hard to build gender-balanced teams. But, all the same, the answers were pretty discouraging. At one of the Big Six suppliers, the gender pay gap is as wide as 19%. That means that on average women are paid 19% less than men.

At the meeting, I was happy to tell Rachel that at Bulb the gender pay gap is 0%. I said that because I knew there was zero difference in pay between men and women with the same seniority at Bulb. While we understand that not everyone identifies as male or female, when we looked at the figures more closely, we realised Bulb actually has a negative pay gap of -1.8%. This means that on average, women are paid 1.8% more than men at Bulb. While we might need to set that right (sorry, chaps), this really is just as it should be. Of course men and women doing the same job should be rewarded the same. Of course the work done by men and women should be valued equally. It’s pretty much a no-brainer. At Bulb, we’ve always done it this way. And we can’t understand why this stubborn problem persists.

I’ve included the full results of our gender pay gap report in this post. You can see how we compare to other businesses on the Government’s gender pay gap viewing service. But while we’re proud to be doing the right thing on this, we know we have more to do. At Bulb, our 4-person leadership team currently lacks any female members. As we expand, we’re looking to put that right, just as we’ve been proactive about hiring female candidates. We use our blog to be open with the wider world about the diversity of our team and what we’re doing to improve things. Here is our latest diversity blog post. Keep an eye out for the next. And make sure to hold us to account - we know how important this work is.

The full report

The Government requires that all employers with 250 or more employees publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap (the difference between the average earnings of men and women, as expressed relative to men’s earnings). Bulb has far fewer than 250 employees, but we wanted to publish this data nonetheless. Some people do not identify as male or female and we’re sensitive to this when compiling these figures.

The figures as they stand at Bulb are:

Mean gender pay gap in hourly pay: -1.8%

This figure looks at the difference between the average of men’s and women’s pay. -1.8% means that, on average, women are paid 1.8% more than men at Bulb.

 Median gender pay gap in hourly pay: -9.4%

This figure looks at the difference between the midpoints in the ranges of men’s and women’s pay. -9.4% means that the midpoint female salary at Bulb is 9.4% higher than the midpoint male salary.

 Quartile pay gap:

This is the proportion of male and female full-pay relevant employees in four pay bands. In our highest pay band, women make up 47.6% of the Bulb workforce.

To calculate this, we: 

  • Ranked our full-pay relevant employees from highest to lowest paid

  • Divided this into 4 equal parts (‘quartiles’)

  • Worked out the percentage of men and women in each of the 4 parts

We still have to report on 3 figures: the mean gender bonus pay gap, the median gender bonus pay gap and the proportion of males and females who got bonus payments. We will report on those after our team bonuses have been calculated and rewarded.

Update: We haven’t done this yet. We will do early next year when we report on our pay gap again.

What do you think?

As always, we’d love to hear what you think. Share with us what your company is doing to close the gender pay gap. We’ve started a thread on the Bulb Community. Drop in.