Anti-Racism Commitments

In June 2020, Chief Executive Alex Mahon set out six new commitments for Channel 4 to be a driver of anti-racism in the industry and improve ethnically-diverse representation.

Through this pledge, we commit to being an anti-racist organisation and to be committed to redoubling our efforts to improve diversity and representation of ethnically-diverse people on and off screen, using our influence in the creative industries and society at large to do more to drive anti-racism.

Channel 4’s six commitments to anti-racism

1. Anti-racist: We commit to being an anti-racist organisation

  • We are wholeheartedly committed to being an anti-racist organisation – and to calling out and acting upon racism wherever we see it.
  • We will use our position as a public service broadcaster, our content and our platforms to educate our audience on anti-racism, and drive positive change – in our organisation, in the creative industries and in society.
  • We will always act where concerns about racism are raised in our organisation or on our programmes.

2. Our Staff: We commit to strive for ethnically-diverse equity as an employer

  • We are committed to the target that 20% of Channel 4 staff, and 20% of the top 100 paid staff, will be ethnically diverse by 2023. 
  • Today we are at 17% of total and 14% of top 100 and we must go further and faster to hit this target.
  • We believe that by having diversity amongst our most senior decision makers we will unlock change.
  • We will launch a new mentoring programme for our diverse staff in 2020 so that they can develop their careers.
  • We will continue to voluntarily report our ethnically-diverse pay gap as we have done since 2019 and we are committed to continuing to narrow it. Channel 4’s ethnically-diverse pay gap was 15% in March 2020.
  • We are committed to the Race at Work charter.
  • We commit to ensuring that The Collective – our employee representative group for ethnically-diverse staff – will help us deliver positive change within the business.

3. Our Content: We commit to commissioning relevant and authentic content – that reflects the lives of ethnically-diverse audiences on an ongoing basis

  • A new commitment to double the number of ethnically-diverse-led independent producers that we commission from by 2023. On the main channel there were eight ethnically-diverse-led indies commissioned in 2019, and a further 12 were in paid development – in total making up 11% of suppliers.
  • We have commissioned a series of short films by black British film-makers responding to George Floyd’s death and exploring the profound resonance with black Britons.
  • We are commissioning a series of longer films exploring different aspects of the black experience and questions about race in modern Britain.
  • We commit to ensuring that the lives and experiences of ethnically-diverse audiences are reflected in programming across all our genres.
  • We will drive up genuine ethnically-diverse authorship of our output by increasing the number of black directors, execs and writers we work with.
  • We will strive to ensure all our shows meet Channel 4’s commissioning diversity guidelines.
  • We are committed to DIAMOND reporting on diversity and will use the data to improve our representation. 

4. Our Faces: We commit to fair ethnically-diverse representation on screen

  • We commit to ethnically-diverse representation being at or higher than the national average in our on-screen presenters, talent and stars. In our last wave our tracking in 2019, our representation was at 14%.
  • We are committed to providing new opportunities for diverse new talent across our content and we have a clear strategy to deliver this.
  • We are committed to diverse ethnicities in our ‘new faces of E4’ talent search which is underway in 2020.

5. Our Supply Chain: We commit to fair ethnically-diverse representation in our supply chain

  • We are making a new commitment to tracking and reporting our content spend with ethnically-diverse-led independent producers.  
  • We will launch a new ethnically-diverse-led Indie Accelerator Plan in which each commissioning genre will identify two ethnically-diverse-led indies to champion and nurture with a bespoke accelerator plan.
  • We are committed to 50% of our remaining commissioning development spend in 2020 being with ethnically-diverse-led, Nations & Regions or small indies.
  • We will continue to be part of the Commissioning Mentoring Network, as part of our effort to grow ethnically-diverse talent in the industry.
  • We are partnering with The TV Collective to support the ethnically-diverse creative industry through the Covid-19 crisis.

6. Our Business Model: We commit to use our influence as an advertiser-funded broadcaster to ensure ethnically-diverse representation in advertising

  • Our £1m Diversity in Advertising Award for 2020 will be focused on ethnically-diverse representation within advertising.

Channel 4 is committed to acting on feedback from the industry and will continue to review these commitments and will update further on our diversity strategy this autumn as part of a detailed new diversity plan.