Creative Diversity

At the heart of Channel 4 is our proven commitment to increasing inclusion and diversity (I&D) within the media industry.

Representing unheard voices is in our DNA and remains key to our Future4 strategy. 

Channel 4 is committed to increasing representation on screen and behind the camera, encouraging greater inclusion, and ensuring that portrayal within our programmes is authentic, challenges stereotypes and reflects the lives of everyone living in Britain today. 

The Creative Diversity team sit at the heart of Commissioning and work across all genres and platforms. They’re involved at the very start of the commissioning process helping to identify talent and opportunities that help shows to meet our Commissioning Diversity Guidelines. Through the Creative Diversity Fund they work with Heads of Departments to target funding to accelerate talent, ideas and independent producers.

The team has an open-door policy and aim to support and advise Channel 4’s production partners specifically to help them to meet the Commissioning Diversity Guidelines and also to support off screen talent where possible. We are creative partners, collaborators and facilitators working collectively to advocate for equality and ensure that real, substantial change takes place through our work. 

Commissioning Diversity Guidelines

Diversity plays an extremely important role in all our commissioning. Our goal is to reflect the full diversity of contemporary Britain on and off screen. To achieve this, we have published a set of Commissioning Diversity Guidelines for indies.

In June 2022 we published an updated set of Commissioning Diversity Guidelines. These will come into play on 1st August 2022, and any programmes that are greenlit from that day onwards will be asked to adhere to the new guidelines.

You can read the new guidelines here.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in post-production

Creative Diversity held a discussion in January 2023 on the importance of DE&I in post-production.

This panel was held in association with Emma Butt who wrote a research paper with the Lenny Henry Centre investigating this topic. Please see her report linked here.

On the panel we had host of industry insiders who joined Emma to discuss their insights, experiences and recommendations. This featured:

Emma Butt – Host Dialogue Editor & Dubbing Mixer 

Neila Butt – Creative Diversity, Channel 4

Jay Francis - Online Editor

Zeb Achonu - TV & Film Editor

Bob Clarke - Founder & CEO of MAMA Youth Project

Jasmin John – Editor & Founder of Black Women in Post-Production

Dean Webster - Head of Development at Ten 66

You can watch the video below with BSL and live captioning.

Later this year Creative Diversity will be launching an initiative tackling the issues in this space off the back of this very important conversation.

 

Disability Code of Portrayal

In July 2022 Channel 4 launched our disability code of portrayal, outlining our commitments to ensuring authentic, nuanced and original disability representation in our programming.

It works on both a portfolio and individual programme level to give a clear framework for our expectations in this area, to deliver volume, balance and range to our disability representation, and as a tool for getting us all into exciting, challenging creative conversations around disability representation.

The Disability Code of Portrayal intentionally dovetails with our recently refreshed Commissioning Diversity Guidelines and the portfolio-level commitments will be tracked in the same way.

You can read the Disability Code of Portrayal here

Disability Code of Portrayal PLAIN TEXT

Briony Adams - Great British Bake Off
Briony Adams - Great British Bake Off

Introductory guides to hiring, including and progressing disabled production talent

In November 2021, we published three introductory guides to support indies when hiring, including and progressing disabled employees and freelancers. 

You can find the guides here

They explain our expectations when it comes to working with disabled talent on productions for Channel 4 as a part of fulfilling our Commissioning Diversity Guidelines.

 

4Connect

We also offer 4Connect networking events for indies to meet with disabled production talent, in partnership with groups such as Deaf & Disabled People in TV. Below is a short a video on 4Connect which includes how to network with disabled talent and testimonials from talent who have attended the sessions.

 

The Indie Accelerator

Channel 4 and the TV Collective have joined forces again to run the Indie Accelerator – an opportunity for ethnically diverse led indies to access training, coaching and increased access to commissioners, as well as a chance to network with other indies. Applications for this cohort are now closed.

 

The Black to Front Project

Black to Front was an ambitious project focused on a day in September 2021 when Channel 4's entire programming schedule was fronted by Black talent and contributors. It encompassed every genre – from news to drama - and involved all areas of the business including advertising, marketing, streaming and social.

As part of the legacy of the Black To Front project, in 2021 Channel 4 became the first broadcaster to ring-fence commissioning spend for ethnically diverse-led indies. We have now published the Black to Front Manifesto, which outlines our continued commitment to supporting ethnically diverse talent. Read more about the project and view the Manifesto here.

 

Head of Creative Diversity: Naomi Sesay

Based in London

Contact: NSesay@channel4.co.uk

Assistant: Stacey Olika

Creative Diversity Lead, Nations & Regions: Neila Butt

Based at Leeds HQ

Contact: nbutt@channel4.co.uk

Assistant: Stacey Olika

Creative Diversity & Disability Project Manager: Nicole Steven

Based in London

Contact: nsteven@channel4.co.uk

Creative Diversity Coordinator: Stacey Olika

Based in Bristol

Contact: solika@channel4.co.uk

Creative Diversity Apprentice: Robin Hubbard Brown

Based in Bristol

Contact: rhubbardbrown@channel4.co.uk

Creative Diversity and Disability Consultant: Ally Castle

Based in London

Contact: please email Stacey Olika