Channel 4: Six percent of employees must be LGBT

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Channel 4 has set tough new diversity targets, which require six percent of employees to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender by the year 2020.

The broadcaster announced its new diversity charter today – which drastically increases previous targets for representation – and introduced clauses which will strip executives of their bonus if they fail to meet targets.

The broadcaster wants 6% of staff to identify as LGBT by the year 2020 – up from 2.4% – with targets for 6% staff with disabilities and 20% black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) staff.

This figure for LGBT representation is far higher than the 2.4% of Channel 4 staff that currently identify as LGBT.

The broadcaster said the percentages reflect the proportion in the general population – however, it is unclear where the figure of 6% for LGBT came from, with the broadcaster saying it made its “own assessment” to get to the number.

Channel 4 said: “Our ambition is for employee diversity to reach the national average.

“In some categories of diversity there are differing estimates, sometimes significant, of the national average (particularly around disability and LGBT); in these areas we have made our own assessment of the national average to aim for, allowing for how this might develop over time.”

Channel 4: Six percent of employees must be LGBT

The target for BAME diversity is also lower among “C4 leaders” – presumably executive staff – with a 15% target by 2020, compared to 20% for general staff.

As part of the strategy, Channel 4 exec David Abraham has doubled the diversity budget to £5 million.

The broadcaster said: “Diversity is a big, complex area.

“The aim of diversity policy in broadcasting is simple: to include and nurture talent, and to reflect contemporary Britain on and offscreen.

“But at Channel 4 we need to do more than reflect Britain. Our remit tasks us to ‘challenge established views and promote alternative views and new perspectives’ unlike other broadcasters.

“Many aspects of diversity are important to us including diversity of thought. But beyond that, there are many different aspects of diversity that shift over time.”

It continues “Our 360° Diversity Charter means we will show leadership in diversity at every level. Leadership is about people. It’s about all the people who contribute to our content, not just those on-screen.

“Our Charter involves commissioners, writers, directors, HR managers, interns, casting agents, viewers, business managers, indie managers, on-screen talent, TV executives, lawyers, headhunters, careers advisors,marketing executives, PAs, data-rights managers, production assistants… when we say 360°, we mean 360°.

“We understand that leadership and learning go hand in hand. We don’t have all the answers, but we’ll find solutions by educating people to be diversity-savvy; to be diversity leaders.”