RISE: Investing in women's development at Channel 4

Background

Channel 4 is a public service broadcaster, starting out in the early 1980s. Through its programming commissions and choices, the organisation has developed a strong reputation for inclusion and diversity. Against this backdrop, Channel 4’s published gender pay gap of 29% proved a great disappointment and strengthened its drive towards equality and inclusion at all levels.

Channel 4 decided to launch a women’s development programme (RISE), to be rolled out to 200+ women at the organisation, designed to build management confidence and skills in the female population as a means of reducing the gender pay gap over time, and staying true to Channel 4’s advocacy of diversity and inclusion.

As a long-term supplier of Channel 4, Strengthscope was selected as a partner for this programme, to ensure that the strengths philosophy formed a central pillar of the RISE programme.

Our solution

Improve confidence, sense of control and stakeholder management

Channel 4 ran a pilot programme in 2017: ‘Exercising My Strengths’. This provided participants with a route map for identifying their differentiating personal strengths, using Strengthscope®, and then building out personal development and career plans based on their Strengthscope® results. All participants reported that their confidence had grown as a result of attendance, with 89% feeling that the programme had improved their impact and gravitas and had helped in their career management.

The full programme, this time including 200 women, aimed at improving participants’ confidence, sense of control and networking/stakeholder management capability. Modules focused on self-awareness, career/life ambitions, personal brand and becoming an agent for change.

The programme was rolled out in three cohorts: role models (most senior leaders), catalysts (future leaders) and energisers (early in career). Results from the programme were embedded by participants delivering ‘stretch’ projects into Channel 4 to continue to develop the culture, as well as through an alumni network for those who attended.

Strengthscope® analytics informed ongoing development for programme participants as a whole group, identifying key strength areas which can be built upon, as well as risk areas which will need to be managed and mitigated, informing future women’s development initiatives.

Outcome

Results from the programme were promising, with some excellent initial feedback:

  • 94% of the role model group felt ready to stretch out of their comfort zone
  • 84% of the catalyst group knew who their most important stakeholders were and how to ask for support from them
  • 75% of the energiser group had a better sense of how they should use their strengths in the future
%

ready to stretch out of their comfort zone

"It’s given me a new-found enthusiasm and passion for my job and has dared me to make a positive impact at the Channel."

RISE participant, 2018

"I have come away feeling confident and empowered to make decisions that I have been putting off. The programme has helped me to focus on what I want and what I need to get it."

RISE participant, 2018

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