Ellis Cook

Channel 4

Growing up I never imagined I’d work in TV. Typically, the representation I had seen in corporate media didn’t reflect my background. I thought my accent would be perceived as uneducated and lack of experience would hold me back. But in 2019 I was hired by the Traffic team, responsible for managing campaigns and maximising revenue from commercial airtime.

Initially I felt I had to prove I deserved my place but that was soon replaced by a passion to influence positive change and get my voice heard in a male dominated space. I’m particularly proud to have led a review that improves the experience for blind and partially sighted viewers and as one of the first employees hired at C4’s new HQ in Leeds, I have championed a culture of collaboration. I started an initiative where staff from different backgrounds spoke to my team about the issues they face. Since, we’ve all become more open about discussing challenging topics and colleagues say this has helped create a more supportive working environment. I believe that if people feel able to be themselves at work, they are more likely to be motivated with higher levels of job satisfaction. In 2021 I was the first person at assistant level to become co-chair of the company-wide ERG 4Pride which has since seen its membership rise. C4’s MD Sinead Rocks has said “Ellis is brilliant at initiating change, inspiring others, and helping make our organisation better – she’s without a doubt one of our rising stars”.