Starcom and Channel 4 will debut the first two episodes of a six-part documentary series today (6 September), which focuses on people from marginalised communities who work in the media.
Launching on their respective websites and Starcom's YouTube channel, the series will focus on people occupying marginalised identities as outlined in The Equality Act, such as age, disability, gender reassignment and race. In addition to this, the series, entitled Brave Stories, will also focus on non-traditional and underrepresented stories of exclusion.
The first episode features Ed Chalmers, head of trading at Channel 4, interviewing William Laven, operations executive in Starcom’s PGOne team. The discussion covers Laven’s experience with neurodisability and working with a stammer in the corporate world.
In episode two, Zehra Rizvi, B2B associate director at Starcom, recounts her story to Angus Mitchell, agency and client sales leader at Channel 4. An example of the non-traditional exclusion that the series aims to focus on, Rizvi talks about her experience as an introvert in an industry built for extroverts.
Speaking to Campaign, Nadine Young, chief executive of Starcom, said: “When you’re talking about being inclusive, so many people have individual issues that are holding them back, so it’s really hard to have policies and programmes to address each and every one of those. What I think we need to do is to create an atmosphere where everyone knows that whatever their issue, and whatever is holding them back, they will be welcomed.”
So far, there are six episodes planned, each running for 15 to 20 minutes. They will focus on the personal stories of Starcom staff members. While neurodiversity and introversion are the topics of the first two, the upcoming four episodes will cover sexuality, grief, addiction and age.
The series was first discussed four months ago and the current plan is to release two a month. Young hopes that the series will continue past Christmas and include people outside the Starcom sphere.
Young said: “I think a real point of difference for Starcom is that we empower our people to change our company, to really feel like they can have an impact on the industry and to make a better world for all of us. I believe that we do that in many ways and this is another example of how we do that.”
Veriça Djurdjevic, chief revenue officer at Channel 4, added: “Creating space for unheard voices and helping to normalise taboo subjects by making them more visible, both on and off screen, is at the heart of Channel 4’s public service remit.
"We’re really proud of this collaboration with Starcom which provides an important platform and safe space for people to share their stories and inspire positive change in our industry.”