Channel 4 launches 360 Diversity Charter


Channel 4 has set out a major commitment to leadership in diversity at every level of the organisation with the launch of its 360° Diversity Charter at an event held in Parliament today (Monday 12th January).

The 360° Charter puts diversity at the heart of all decision making at Channel 4, across all activities on and off-screen, at every level and with all external partners and independent producers. It includes 30 significant activities worth £5m of investment and covers a wide definition of diversity including BAME, disability, LGBT, gender and social mobility.

Headline activities within the Charter include the launch of Channel 4’s Commissioning Diversity Guidelines, the introduction of new in-house diversity targets for Channel 4 staff and leadership, the funding of seven diverse Deputy Commissioning Editors, and investment in a new generation of disabled production talent for the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

David Abraham, Channel 4’s Chief Executive said: “Diversity is baked into Channel 4’s DNA and our remit – it’s vital that we are open to the widest variety of voices, and that we nurture new talent from all backgrounds and reflect all of contemporary Britain.

“We have a rich heritage in pioneering programming that has reshaped how we think about diversity from Desmond’s and Queer as Folk through to the 2012 Paralympics, but like all media organisations, there is more we can do.

“The launch of our 360° Charter is an opportunity for us to change how we think about diversity and ensure that it’s at the very heart of everything that we do, on and off-screen.

“It’s a complex area but our goal is to create meaningful and long term change and I believe the commitments we’re setting out today are a significant moment in the history of Channel 4.”

The commitments outlined in the 360° Charter include:

  • The introduction of Commissioning Diversity Guidelines, which have been developed in collaboration with Pact and will ensure that every new Channel 4 commissioned programme in every genre works towards increasing diverse participation on and off-screen. This representation will be measured and reported through the new DIAMOND diversity monitoring system developed with the CDN.
  • New in-house employee diversity targets for all Channel 4 staff with specific targets for the top 120 leaders to address diverse representation at a senior level within the organisation. This will aim to ensure that the top 120 at minimum meet the national averages for BAME (15%), gender (50:50), disability (6%) and LGBT (6%) representation by 2020. All staff will also share the same targets with a higher target for BAME representation (20%) reflecting the greater ethnic diversity of the workforce in London around Channel 4’s main headquarters.
  • Funding seven diverse Deputy Commissioning Editors over two years in conjunction with the CDN Commissioner Development Programme, with each person working for one year within the Channel 4 commissioning team.
  • Investing in a new generation of on and off-screen disabled talent for Rio 2016. Building on the success of the on-screen talent launched in London 2012, Channel 4 will recruit 30 production trainees with disabilities who will be given extensive training on 4’s Production Training Scheme and, alongside two new disabled presenters, will work on Channel 4’s production and broadcast of the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
  • Leadership objective setting and incentivisation to ensure that all Channel 4’s senior managers and editorial staff have specific and measurable diversity objectives and that their success in meeting them is linked to annual variable pay.
  • Investing in, and growing the scale, of indies led by BAME entrepreneurs and those from other diverse backgrounds with the Channel 4 Growth Fund; and continuing to invest in development funding with small diverse creative enterprises with the £2m Alpha Fund.

The full range of 30 activities set out in the 360° Diversity Charter is available via the link below, and includes new casting initiatives for diverse roles and for actors with disabilities; a programme to increase the number of women drama directors; diverse writer schemes; and commitments focussed specifically on recruitment, mentoring and training around diversity.

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