Inside Bulb

People Matter: an update on diversity at Bulb

A picture of Team Bulb

Since our last update, Team Bulb has grown to over 400 people. We’ve been working to improve the diversity of the team, and build an inclusive culture at Bulb HQ. We hold better, more accurate data on the team and have a fairer recruitment process. We've also become more ethnically diverse. But progress on gender diversity has slowed, and we still have more to do to be representative of the community we work in. Here we share what’s coming next, as well as our full diversity statistics.

Building a diverse team has always been important to us. It’ll help us achieve our mission of helping people to lower their bills and cut carbon emissions. Having a team that reflects our member base means we’re better able to understand our members’ needs. It helps us to make good decisions about what we build and how we innovate. And we can’t improve what we don’t understand, so being transparent with our diversity data is the first step in building a diverse team.

We last updated you on diversity at Bulb in November 2017. We know this is a long while ago and we plan to put that right. From now on, we’ll publish these updates on our blog once a quarter. In this update, we’ll share our most up-to-date data on diversity at Bulb, which is from April 2019. We’ll show how we’re doing compared to the UK as a whole. And where we can, we’ll show how the team’s diversity has changed over time.

The data shows that while we’ve made improvements in diversity since our last update, we still have a way to go. Today, our team better reflects the ethnic and educational diversity of the community we work in, but is still predominantly young and male. We need to improve our gender and age diversity, as well as our representation of people with disabilities.

Sharing our progress so far

Since our last update, we’ve continued to think of ways to improve diversity at Bulb and celebrate the brilliant team we already have. Here are some of the steps we’ve taken:

Created an anonymous way to maintain current, accurate diversity data

With the team growing so quickly, it’s been difficult to keep track of diversity. So we designed a system which provides us with real-time, accurate data. Our team complete the survey once, typically when joining Bulb, and our records are updated when a team member leaves. It’s now simple to understand the diversity of the team, even as we continue to grow.

Celebrated LGBT History Month and International Women’s Day

Bulb has a vibrant LGBTQIA community. This was clear to see during LGBT History Month; a month of events to celebrate diversity in gender and sexual orientation at Bulb all based around the theme ‘Peace, Activism and Reconciliation’. These events brought out lots of interesting conversations and ideas. Our International Women’s Day event was headlined by Gabby Edlin, founder of Bloody Good Period. People from all over Bulb came together for an evening of workshops tackling everything from period pains to the root of patriarchy.

A picture of Gabby Edlin from Bloody Good Period presenting to Team Bulb
Gabby Edlin from Bloody Good Period talks to Team Bulb on International Women’s Day.

Started hiring apprentices

Apprentices are a great way for us to find ambitious talent from diverse backgrounds. They’ve been a brilliant addition to the team so far and we look forward to welcoming more in the future. If you’re interested in apprenticeships at Bulb, get in touch on careers@bulb.co.uk.

Reduced our reliance on academic background for Energy Specialists

We introduced pymetrics into our hiring process for Energy Specialists. Pymetrics uses specially designed games to test candidates in a fair and objective way. This helps our team to learn more about applicants without relying on an academic screen and avoiding any unintentional implicit biases. We’re continuing to hire lots of Energy Specialists as we grow. You can find out more on our careers page.

Launched a Diversity and Inclusion Forum

We started off with employee resource groups, but quickly found that this meant dividing people who are passionate about diversity and inclusion. So we decided to bring them together. We now have a monthly forum with people from all sorts of diverse backgrounds, sharing ideas about what we can do to make Bulb a more diverse and inclusive place.

What we’ve got planned

We’re proud of the work we’ve done so far, but there’s more to do. Here’s what we’ll be focussed on in the next few months:

Improving our set up to encourage a more diverse team

It’s important we’re set up for a diverse team. Some of the things we’ll be looking at are how we accommodate disabilities and health problems, designing a Diversity and Inclusion onboarding session for all new joiners and a curriculum for managers.

Launching an inclusion survey

Our new diversity database is a great improvement to how we track and understand our diversity data, but it’s only part of the story. Inclusion data tells us what it feels like to work at Bulb as an individual. We want Bulb to be an inclusive workplace for everyone and to make sure this is the case, we need to start measuring it.

Representing Bulb at more events

We want to give our team the opportunity to represent Bulb in lots of different ways. This month, we hosted a series of events for Mental Health Awareness Week, thinking about how we can improve mental health in the workplace. And we’re excited to be walking in the parade at London Pride this year.

A poster advertising events for Mental Health Awareness week at Bulb
A poster advertising events for Mental Health Awareness week at Bulb.

Designing a tech internship

As we’ve grown, we’ve been thinking about the fact that only 11% of software engineers in the UK are female. Thinking about how we can change that, we’ll be launching a tech internship to encourage more women to join Bulb in an engineering role.

Appointing more Diversity and Inclusion champions

In our last update, we talked about Caroline, our Diversity and Inclusion champion. As the team has grown, we think it’s important to have champions across Bulb from lots of different backgrounds. Building on our Diversity and Inclusion forum, we’ll be looking for dedicated team members to take on this role.

More blog posts

We’re going to be much more vocal about our diverse team and all of the exciting things we’re doing in the next few months. This will help to show candidates the ways in which Bulb is a diverse and inclusive workplace and what we’re doing to continue to make this better. It also means that you can see how we’re ensuring that the Bulb team reflects our members.

Bulb’s full diversity statistics - April 2019

Bulb is a young team

The average age at Bulb is 29.5. This is unchanged since November 2018. In the same period, we’ve seen the proportion of over 35s is increasing.

A chart showing the age diversity at Bulb over time
Notes: Age self reported . Source: 2011 London Census data, Bulb team diversity survey .
A chart showing the age diversity at Bulb compared to the UK
Notes: Age self reported . Source: 2011 London Census data, Bulb team diversity survey .

Bulb has more males than females

37% of team members identify as female, a slight decrease on November 2018. In product and technology roles this decreases to 22%. 1% of the team identify as non-binary or genderqueer; this is increasing.

A chart showing gender diversity at Bulb over time
Notes: Gender self reported, respondents were able to answer ‘other preferred description’. Source: Bulb team diversity survey.
A chart showing gender diversity at Bulb compared to the UK
Notes: Gender self reported, respondents were able to answer ‘other preferred description’. Source: Bulb team diversity survey .

Bulb is becoming more ethnically diverse

71% of the Bulb team identify as white, compared to 78% in November 2018. Those identifying as Asian/Asian British have seen the biggest increase from 7% to 12% in 6 months.

A chart showing ethnic diversity at Bulb over time
Notes: Ethnicity self reported . Source: London Census data 2011, Bulb team diversity survey .
A chart showing ethnic diversity at Bulb compared to the UK
Notes: Ethnicity self reported . Source: London Census data 2011, Bulb team diversity survey .

Bulb has a large LGBTQIA community

13% of people identify as LGBTQIA, 2% lower than November 2018. This is still much higher than the 2% UK average.

A chart showing Bulb LGBTQIA community over time
Notes: Sexuality self reported . Source: Office for National Statistics, Bulb team diversity survey .
A chart showing how Bulb's LGBTQIA community compared to the UK
Notes: Sexuality self reported . Source: Office for National Statistics, Bulb team diversity survey .

People with disabilities are currently under-represented at Bulb

4% of the Bulb team identify as having a disability, this has not changed since November 2018. This is much lower than the UK working population, where 14% have a disability.

A chart showing Bulb's progress on representation of people with disabilities over time
Notes: Disability self reported . Source: Office for National Statistics, Bulb team diversity survey .
A chart showing Bulb's representation of people with disabilities compared to the UK
Notes: Disability self reported . Source: Office for National Statistics, Bulb team diversity survey .

There aren’t many parents in Team Bulb

Only 4% of the Bulb team are primary carers for children under the age of 18, compared to 35% of the UK. This reflects our young team.

A chart showing the family makeup of the team at Bulb over time
Notes: Family make-up self reported, a child is a person under the page of 18 . Source: Office for National Statistics, Bulb team diversity survey .
A chart showing the family makeup of Team Bulb compared to the UK
Notes: Family make-up self reported, a child is a person under the page of 18 . Source: Office for National Statistics, Bulb team diversity survey .

The Bulb team is becoming more educationally diverse

19% of the Bulb team is independently educated; this number is falling. 38% of the Bulb team are the first generation in their family to attend university; this number is increasing.

A chart showing the diversity of school education at Bulb
Notes: School background self reported . Source: Department of Education, Bulb team diversity survey .
A chart showing the diversity of school education at Bulb compared to the UK
Notes: School background self reported . Source: Department of Education, Bulb team diversity survey .
A chart showing diversity of university education at Bulb over time
Notes: University education self reported . Source: Department of Education, Bulb team diversity survey .
A chart showing diversity of university education at Bulb compared to the UK
Notes: University education self reported . Source: Department of Education, Bulb team diversity survey .

Representation of leadership across diverse groups is not equal

20% of all Bulb employees are in leadership positions. This means in a perfectly equal world, 20% of individuals of all identities would be in leadership roles. We found that 15% of female employees are managers compared to 21% of male. This could mean that either a greater proportion of male staff are being promoted into leadership roles, or we hire more males for leadership positions. Similarly 16% of non-white people are leaders, compared to 20% of white people. A priority for us over the coming weeks and months is to improve career paths at Bulb, so we help all of our team to fulfill their potential and progress upwards in the company.


And 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.