We are diverse in Octopus Labs

Fast decision-making, rapid learning and constant iteration are concepts that define Octopus Labs. This is not simply “corporate values” speak, but qualities innate in the people who work at Labs and how we function as a team.

Yet, everyone at Labs possesses unique qualities that suffuse Labs with ranging diversity. We don’t just value this. We celebrate it. To understand this diversity, we undertook a demographic survey.

Survey results

Based on survey results, our colleagues hold many similarities to typical tech companies. We’re young and mostly childless. We’re well educated. We’re not particularly religious. And we’re blimmin' white. But when we look more closely at the results, we see some significant differences from most tech companies.

Gender and family

The male geek stereotype does not apply to Labs. We’re strongly represented by women and hold women in many key positions. This is not something that happened by chance. Labs recruitment has focused hard on creating gender balance. And it’s something we strive to continue through recruitment, education and sponsorship of women in technology events.

Females
41%

Males
59%

Males vs Females
Male
Female
How many kids do you have?
Ethnicity and Race

We’re white, but we’re not all that white. The percent of colleagues who consider themselves dark skinned still outnumbers the UK national average by roughly 6%. And the diversity among our nationalities is profound.

How would you describe your skin colour?
How has skin colour affected your opportunities in life?
Nationality

Half of us are foreign nationals while the majority of us were born abroad

Place of birth
UK
Non UK
Citizenship
UK
Non UK
Sexual Orientation and relationship

We are indeed fairly hetero (sexual orientation at Labs reflects that of the general population). But we are enthusiastically inclusive. We not only hold dear our LGBTQ colleagues, but their entire community. Octopus has been a strong supporter of London Pride and other LGBTQ events.

What is your marital status?
Highest level of education in Octopus

Master’s degree holders are likely to fall under the 25-44 range, due to both being old enough to have spent the time to gain it, and young enough to feel required to have it by the job market to qualify for a job

Work Habits

We work quickly. The perfectionists among us (there are still many) have learned to tame their inner nit-picker in order to adopt our Agile approach to project development. This combination of quick workers and perfectionists suits Labs because we are team players, accommodating each other’s differing strengths.

Being team-oriented, we spend a lot of time working in common areas rather than seated alone at our desks. But some of us have children, and opportunities to work from home can make a positive difference in both family and work lives.

Average work from home time
Our Commute

When not working from home, we commute mainly by public transportation (many of us commute to central London from distant boroughs). Those who live closer enjoy walking and biking to work.

What's the main form of transport you use?
After Hours

Our team is as passionate about their wide-ranging personal interests and community activities as they are about work. We’re involved in everything from charity fundraisers and supporting Pride in London, through to music festivals and playing backgammon. Labs encourages a balance between work, family and outside activities. That’s not simply being idealistic. We know a balanced lifestyle makes healthier, happier and ultimately more effective employees.

Even when not on the job, we still assimilate the latest technology into our personal lives. We adopt new mobile technology and watch on-demand TV.

What is the main way you watch movies/series?
On demand vs Live TV
Live TV
On demand

A bit too much screen time may have something to do with three-quarters of our employees feeling their physical activity is average to poor. This is something we continue to address, offering after hours yoga, standing desks, and a pro-active wellness initiative that responds to both employees physical and mental health needs.

Our Politics

Being of diverse national origin, it's perhaps unsurprising that our colleagues tend to believe that nations, like technology, should be accessible, inclusive and accommodating.

What are your political views?
Brexit
Our Geek souls

At our very core, we are still mostly geeks. We’re not simply technologists, we are tech enthusiasts, with a passion for learning and exploring new technology.

Star Wars or Star Trek
iOS or Android?
What about you?

Labs is always on the lookout for talented, unique individuals. Do you share our passion for technology and an enthusiasm for improving people’s financial lives? Do you share our commitment to a diverse, inclusive workplace? Let us know.

Books we read

As part of our survey, we asked our colleagues what book they would most recommend, this is what they said.

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  • All The Names by José Saramago
  • An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
  • Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins
  • Books by Donald Knuth
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Inferno by Dan Brown
  • Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone by Andrew Thomson, Heidi Postlewait and Kenneth Cain
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • F**k It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way by John C. Parkin
  • Freakonomics by Steven D Levitt
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice
  • Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
  • Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson
  • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
  • Life Is What You Make It by Ernest Holmes and Randall Friesen
  • My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle
  • Rant: The Oral History of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
  • Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
  • She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb
  • Stalingrad by Antony Beevor
  • The damage done: twelve years of hell in a Bangkok prison by Warren Fellows
  • The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin
  • The Magus by John Fowles
  • The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • The Trigger: The Hunt for Gavrilo Princip — the Assassin who Brought the World to War by Tim Butcher
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger