Having a diverse team that reflects our member base means we’re better able to understand our members’ needs. This helps us to make good decisions with the products and services we’re building, bringing us closer to achieving our mission of helping people to lower their bills and their carbon emissions.
In this update, we’re sharing our full diversity statistics as of July. We’ll show how we’re doing compared to the UK workforce as a whole, and where we can, we’ll show how the make up of the team has changed over time.
Sharing our progress
The last few months have been busy, and we’ve welcomed 155 new members to the team remotely. Before we get stuck into the numbers, we thought we’d share some of the things we’ve been doing to improve the experience of working at Bulb for everyone in the team. We hope some of these might be useful for others.
Looking after the mental health of our team
As we all know, lockdown was hard on lots of people. In Bulb’s case, a number of our team live alone or in shared households, far from their families, and they’re sometimes dealing with members in difficult and distressing circumstances. So in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we put a network of independent services in place so that our team can access exactly the kind of support they might need. These include:
Access to Unmind, a platform that helps people to track their mental health and get exercises and techniques to help preserve it
Access to virtual therapy sessions via Spill
Short-term intervention focused therapies with a clinical psychologist via HelloSelf
And access to unlimited talking therapies and in-patient and out-patient psychiatric services via our health insurance
The death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests have had a huge impact around the world and within the Bulb community. We shared Bulb’s public response across social media, including a list of useful resources for anyone looking to learn more put together by our team. Our diversity and inclusion (d+i) team also hosted an event, attended by 178 team members, where we invited people to openly share experiences of race and racism, and hear more on what Bulb can do to do better. Bulb Texas closed their phone lines to create some time for the team to share their thoughts together. These conversations have suggested new ways we can work to reduce bias and balance the opportunities available to every team member at Bulb.
Piloting mentoring for women at Bulb
We’re also nearing the end of a pilot programme to provide additional support to women in their careers at Bulb. This is a 12 week trial where 16 pairs met regularly for mentoring conversations focusing on 3 developmental goals. If the feedback from the trial is positive, we plan to extend the programme for team members from other under-represented groups.
Bulb's full diversity statistics, July 2020
While hiring has slowed since 2019, we’re seeing some encouraging trends in our diversity data as we continue to grow.
Since March 2019, we've seen a 38% increase in applicants from non Russell-Group universities for roles in our Member Experience team. 43% of successful applicants are now women (up from 30%) and 30% are BAME (up from 16%). We’ve worked hard to improve representation in this team by making changes to our hiring process. We’ve focused extra energy here because as an entry-level role, we don’t inherit any bias that might exist in the pool of people we’re hiring from. We want to make sure all of these individuals are able to achieve their goals at Bulb.
It’ll take time for changes like these to be visible in the data for all of Team Bulb, but we’re pleased to share this progress. So, let’s take a look at the full team statistics for July 2020.
Bulb is a young team
The average age at Bulb is 26.9. This has increased by 1.1 years since our last update.
We’re making progress on gender diversity
40% of team members identify as female, a slight increase from November 2019. In engineering this decreases to 22%. This is an industry wide trend - in the UK only 16% of tech roles are held by women. 1% of the team identify as non-binary or with another preferred description.
Bulb over-represents BAME people compared to the UK
76% of the Bulb team identify as white, compared to 73% in November 2019. We over-represent BAME people compared to national data, but we also compare our statistics with London because over 90% of the Bulb team are based in the city. Through this lens, we actually under-represent BAME people.
Bulb has a large LGBTQIA community
16% of people at Bulb identify as LGBTQIA. This has remained unchanged since November 2019.
People with disabilities are currently under-represented at Bulb
4% of the team at Bulb identify as having a disability, and 3% prefer not to say. This is much lower than the UK working population, where 16% have a disability. We’ve now changed the way we ask this question, making the definition of a disability clearer so that anybody at Bulb affected by chronic physical or mental health conditions will be visible in these figures going forwards.
There aren’t many parents in Team Bulb
3% of the Bulb team are primary carers for children under the age of 18, compared to 35% of the UK. We think the low proportion of parents reflects our young team.
Educational diversity is continuing to improve
Educational background is a good indicator for socio-economic diversity. We report on this measure because we’ve over-indexed on team members who attended an independent or fee-paying school since Bulb began back in 2015. Today, 20% of the team who were educated within the UK attended an independent or fee paying school. This compares to 13% nationally.
35% of the Bulb team are the first generation in their family to attend university, which is 5% higher than in November 2019. We’ve also seen the proportion of people who didn’t attend university increasing. This year we took on our first cohort of apprentices through our partnership with Whitehat. 70% of them have gone on to accept permanent roles at Bulb.
There is a variety of religious belief at Bulb
The proportion of our team who identify as having no religion or belief has increased to 67%. This is compared to only 25% in the UK and 64% at Bulb in November 2019. We’ve mirrored how data is grouped and labelled in the census. So 9% of Team Bulb identify as Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist and other religious minorities.
We've started measuring neurodiversity
Neurodiversity refers to variation in human minds, brains and neurocognitive functioning. People with conditions like dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD and ASD often identify as neurodiverse. We’ve started asking our team members to identify whether they’re neurodiverse or neurotypical. Neurodiversity and cognitive diversity in the team will mean we approach problems differently, helping us to innovate. 14% of people at Bulb identify as neurodiverse, compared to 15% nationally.
Moving in the right direction
As acknowledgment for the work we’ve been doing to improve diversity and inclusion, we were shortlisted by the Inclusive Tech Alliance for the category of Diversity and Inclusion Team of the Year (2019).
We’re working hard to improve representation in our team and we’ll continue to publish our diversity statistics to be transparent about the progress we’re making.
As ever, we’d love to know your thoughts on this topic. What else could we be doing to make Bulb a diverse and inclusive place to be? Join the discussion in the Bulb community.