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UK B Corp Bulb Shares a Snapshot of Employee Diversity Data and Where It Looks to Change

By Meera Patel, talent and diversity specialist at Bulb

B Corp certification stands for something that we believe in passionately here at Bulb: that companies have a social and environmental responsibility over and above making a profit. Building a diverse team is a crucial part of this journey. A team that reflects our member base means we’re better able to understand our members’ needs and will help us achieve our mission of helping people lower their bills and cut carbon emissions. 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.

Sharing Our Progress So Far

Here are some of the steps we’ve taken recently to improve diversity at Bulb and celebrate the brilliant team we already have:

  • Created an anonymous way to maintain current, accurate diversity data. We designed a system that provides us with real-time, accurate data. Our team members complete the survey once, typically when joining Bulb, and our records are updated when a team member leaves.
  • Celebrated LGBT History Month and International Women’s Day. Bulb has a vibrant LGBTQIA community. This was evident during LGBT History Month, which included events to celebrate diversity in gender and sexual orientation at Bulb around the theme “Peace, Activism and Reconciliation.”
  • 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.
  • Reduced our reliance on academic background for energy specialists. We did this by introducing pymetrics (specially designed games that test candidates fairly) into our hiring process. This means we learn more about applicants without relying on academic screening and avoid unintentional implicit biases.
  • Launched a Diversity and Inclusion Forum. We now have a monthly forum involving people from varied backgrounds where we share ideas about what we can do to make Bulb a more diverse and inclusive place.

Bulb is part of the community of businesses that have used a third-party verification of their impact. Use the free B Impact Assessment to evaluate your company’s impact on all stakeholders, including the environment, your workers, your community and your customers.

What We Have Planned

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

  • Improving our setup to encourage a more diverse team. It’s important that we’re structured for a diverse team. We’re looking at how we accommodate people with disabilities and health issues, designing a Diversity and Inclusion on-boarding session for all new workers, and providing 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.
  • Representing Bulb at more events. We recently hosted a series of events for Mental Health Awareness Week, prompting us to consider how we can improve mental health in the workplace. And we’re excited to be walking in the parade at London Pride this year.
  • Designing a tech internship. Only 11% of software engineers in the United Kingdom are female, and we’re 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. 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 more dedicated team members to join.

Our Latest Diversity Statistics

The data below from April 2019 show that while we’ve made improvements in diversity since our last update, we still have a way to go. While our team better reflects the ethnic and educational diversity of our community, it is still predominantly young and male. Measuring and reporting these statistics will help us to improve.

Bulb has more males than females: 37% of team members identify as female, a slight decrease from November 2018. In product and technology roles this decreases to 22%. Now 1% of the team identify as non-binary or genderqueer; this is increasing. We need more women in the team to be representative of the UK workforce, which is 47% female.

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 six months. London is 60% white, meaning people of colour remain underrepresented on the Bulb team.

Notes: Ethnicity self-reported. (Source: London Census data 2011, Bulb team diversity survey)

Bulb has a large LGBTQIA community: 13% of people at Bulb identify as LGBTQIA, 2% lower than November 2018. This is much higher than the 2% UK average.

Notes: Sexuality self-reported. (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 and 38% of Bulb team members are the first generation in their family to attend university. Compared to the UK average of 87%, Bulb currently underrepresent people with a state school education. Since March 2018, the number of people who are the first generation to attend university has increased from 27% to 38% (the UK average is 50%).

Notes: School background self-reported. (Source: Department of Education, Bulb team diversity survey)

To read Bulb’s full report, including representation of people with disabilities, parents and representation of leadership across diverse groups, click here.

B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.

Shining a Light on Diversity at Work was originally published in B the Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Originally posted on B the Change - Medium by B Lab UK.

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