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Updates from Team Bulb

Reporting our gender pay gap

Neon sign in Bulb HQ

We’ve reported our gender pay gap for 2020. This year our mean gender pay gap is 11.39%. In this post, we'll dig deeper into our data and share what we're doing to make Bulb an inclusive place for everyone.

Last year we chose to report our gender pay gap for 2019, even though companies weren’t required to because of the coronavirus crisis. This year, companies have been given an extension until October to publish their gender pay gap, but we want to share this data now and continue the conversation on gender equality.

It’s important to us that we’re open about gender equality at Bulb. Reporting our gender pay gap data keeps us accountable on our progress. We want Bulb to be fair and inclusive for everyone, so we’re focussing on supporting women and developing their careers through efforts such as mentoring, using technology to remove biases, and increasing the number of women in technology roles.

Alicia Eke-Egele, People Partner, Diversity and Inclusion.

Sharing the data

This year's report offers a snapshot of the data from 5 April 2020. At that time, we had 700 people in the team. This snapshot date aligns with the government's requirements for pay gap reporting.

Before we share the data, we want to acknowledge that some of our team members do not identify as gender binary. At Bulb, we welcome people of all gender identities and expressions. When we calculate these figures, we use the binary gender identity people choose when they register with HMRC; either male or female.

Table showing the mean and median hourly pay gap

Bulb's mean hourly pay gap is +11.39%. The mean is the average of men's and women's pay. On average, men are paid 11.39% more than women at Bulb. This is an increase from 2019, when our mean hourly pay gap was +6% in favour of men.

Bulb's median hourly pay gap is 0%. The median compares the midpoints in the ranges of men's and women's pay. At Bulb the midpoint of men's pay is not higher than the midpoint of women's pay. This is an improvement on 2019, when the median hourly pay gap was +5.34% in favour of men.

To understand this data better, we can look at how men's and women's pay is distributed. To calculate this, we lined up our 700 team members from highest to lowest paid. We then split them into 4 groups of 175, also known as 'pay quartiles' and worked out the proportion of men and women in each quartile.

Chart showing a larger proportion of female workers in Bulb's lower pay quartile

As well as the hourly pay rate, we're also sharing our bonus pay data.

Table describing the mean and median bonus pay gap

Bulb's mean bonus pay gap is +7.8%. On average, women's bonuses are 7.8% lower than men's at Bulb. Bulb's median bonus pay gap is +8.6%. At Bulb, the midpoint of women's bonus pay is 8.6% lower than the midpoint of men's bonus pay.

In 2020, around the same amount of men and women received a bonus. And because bonuses tend to be based on a proportion of salaries and there are more men in upper pay quartiles, the mean bonus gap was in favour of men.

Chart showing the same proportion of men and women at Bulb got a bonus in 2020

Our pay gap reflects changes in the make-up of our team

Since our last report, Bulb's gender pay gap has widened. This is because we’ve hired more women into the lowest pay quartile, which tends to be made up of customer service roles. While the number of women in the upper pay quartiles has increased, men still make up 65% of this population. Technology roles make up a higher proportion of these quartiles. Across the technology industry, women are under-represented, and make up around 17% of tech roles. At Bulb, around 20% of tech roles are held by women, and we’re working on ways to further improve diversity in our technology teams.

We're working hard to improve gender equality at Bulb

This year, we’ve already made changes to the way we hire. Online recruiting speeds things up, is more inclusive and opens up access to different talent pools. When people apply for our Energy Specialist roles, they take a pre-assessment to test their suitability and commitment to the role before we see their CV, to remove any potential biases. By embracing online hiring, we’ve improved the diversity of our team, which helps us serve our customers better.

We now use gender ‘decoding’ on our job descriptions. This identifies any hidden biases in the language we use, which might unconsciously influence the people who apply for jobs. We also post our job roles on diverse online job boards, to widen the potential pool of applicants. We also directly invite people who don’t meet every criteria for a job description to apply. Research shows that women are less likely to apply for roles when they don’t feel they meet every criteria, compared to men.

Our women’s mentoring programme pairs women in customer experience positions with more experienced colleagues to help them with their career development, and we’re expanding mentoring more widely this year.

And we’re continuing to increase the number of women in technology roles at Bulb. Some of our initiatives, like tech internships and apprenticeships, may widen our gender pay gap in the short term. But we’re confident they’ll help long-term career development and contribute to narrowing our pay gap over time. We’re also confident that we’re addressing the root cause of the problem, which is under-representation of women in the technology hiring market.

Later this year, we’ll publish a full diversity update here on the blog.