Inclusion & Diversity

There is a clear moral, social and economic case for why equality and diversity matter. Knowing your community and responding to its diverse needs is at the heart of effective public service delivery.

Diversity in TV, the media – and the United Kingdom as a whole – is a top priority for us at Channel 4. A key part of our remit is to appeal to people whatever their culture, nationality, religious persuasion, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, gender, race or age.

From 'Desmond's', the first black sitcom first broadcast by Channel 4 in 1989, to our groundbreaking coverage of the Paralympic Games, Channel 4 has brought previously neglected experiences and perspectives into the mainstream. Today, the story continues.

A renewed commitment to inclusion and diversity

In 2020, Channel 4 set out a new and clear commitment to be an anti-racist organisation and committed to redouble its efforts to improve diversity and representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people on and off screen, using its influence in the creative industries and society at large to do more to drive anti-racism.

This pledge is comprised of six clear commitments across all areas of the organisation to underpin this and ensure that Channel 4 is a driver of positive change – you can read the full detail for the six commitments here.

We also announced a review into our historic content. In Channel 4's 37-year history, audience views and expectations have changed and some archive content may be seen as deeply offensive by some viewers in light of changing attitudes in society. We have therefore reviewed how we handle historic programmes in our archive and have drawn up a set of guiding principles for the review of this material. 

Our inclusion and diversity strategy

Channel 4 published a new Inclusion and Diversity Strategy in 2019. Our vision is to build on our heritage as a trailblazer in diversity, with an emphasis on achieving greater inclusion; to be a beacon to the UK industry of what an inclusive, diverse and creative culture can look like; and to give Channel 4 a creative and competitive edge.

There are three main 'pillars' to our strategy:

  1. Inclusive workforce: To instil a culture where the power of the diverse workforce is celebrated, and people recognise that diversity of thought generates richer ideas – inclusion and diversity is one of our four key 'Anti-Values', which are the bedrock of our culture as an organisation
  2. On screen: To shift focus to authentic portrayal and representation, allowing audiences to recognise themselves on screen
  3. Leading the industry: To be a driving force and pioneer in the industry on inclusion and diversity

Read our latest strategy: Channel 4 – Inclusion and Diversity Strategy 2019 (886.81 KB, PDF)

We are also proud to be a part of Diamond, the single online system used by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky to obtain consistent diversity data on the programmes we commission. 

Our commitment also extends to helping our partners and suppliers become more confident in inclusion and diversity. For example, in 2018 we launched a guide for the TV sector on employing disabled talent, to provide indies and other partners with a one-stop-shop on the business case through to the practicalities.

And in 2019, we published a whitepaper providing 14 insights into inclusion and diversity, pulling together some of the lessons and insights that we've learned about inclusion and diversity.

Drag SOS looking in a mirror.
“We all have the power to challenge the status quo and to help level the playing fields to create a more inclusive culture in our workplaces and across the UK.”
Alex Mahon, Chief Executive