Impact Personal

Embracing diversity from behind the lens


As a black man from a working-class background navigating the Media industry, I’ve constantly come up against challenging situations, which have underscored the vital importance of having more than one diverse voice contributing to the structure of a project. While strides have been made in front of the lens, the landscape behind it remains largely unchanged. Often, the characters representing us on screen don’t feel authentically written by us, leading to a disconnect in true representation. Being both black and neurodivergent, I understand deeply the importance of embracing all types of diversity. In response, I founded All Mixed Up Productions, an indie film company dedicated to fostering inclusivity and representation at every level.

Challenges Faced

I’ve encountered numerous challenges in my 10+ years in the industry stemming from the lack of diversity in the industry in general, but particularly behind the camera. From unconscious biases to systemic barriers, the road to success has been anything but smooth. Opportunities that should have been readily available often seemed out of reach, overshadowed by an invisible barrier that sometimes feels impossible to break through. Rather than succumb to these challenges, I’ve chosen to confront them head-on, fueled by a determination to enact meaningful change.

Overcoming Obstacles

Despite the hurdles, I’ve found strength in community. Surrounding myself with like-minded individuals who share my commitment to diversity has been instrumental in overcoming obstacles. Together, we’ve challenged traditional norms and pushed boundaries, proving that diversity isn’t just a checkbox but a catalyst for innovation and creativity. By amplifying diverse voices and perspectives, I’ve been able to transform challenges into opportunities for growth and transformation.

Benefits of Diversity

The benefits of diversity in media production are undeniable. Not only does it foster a more inclusive and equal workplace, but it also enriches storytelling and enhances the quality of content. When behind-the-scenes teams reflect the diversity of the world around us, authenticity shines through in content. Different experiences, cultures, and backgrounds bring depth and nuance to narratives. I truly feel that diverse representation behind the camera can empower marginalised communities and helps pave the way for future generations of storytellers.

Strategies for Improvement

To effect real change, we must implement concrete strategies for improvement. First, we must prioritise diversity and inclusion in hiring practices by creating transparent recruitment processes and partnering with organisations that focus on underrepresented talent. This includes setting specific diversity goals and using unbiased recruitment tools to evaluate candidates. Mentorship programmes aimed at supporting emerging filmmakers from diverse backgrounds are also essential. These programmes should offer regular one-on-one mentorship, networking opportunities, and professional development workshops. Additionally, creating safe and inclusive work environments where all voices are valued and respected is crucial. This can be achieved by establishing clear anti-discrimination policies, providing diversity training, and creating channels for feedback and open communication. By fostering a culture of belonging, we can ensure that everyone’s unique perspectives are valued and heard.


I believe that diversity is crucial in all areas, especially behind the camera and in leadership roles. While the industry has made some strides, it is evident that we are not there yet. Through my recent experiences, I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of inclusivity in media production. By embracing diversity, we not only create opportunities for underrepresented voices but also enrich the stories we’re able to tell. We must continue to push boundaries, challenge norms, and strive for meaningful change toward a more inclusive and equitable future in media production.

If anyone starting their media/production journey has dealt with any of the things I’ve highlighted and would like someone to speak with about them, please feel free to reach out. I’d be more than happy to guide and support anyone who wants to make meaningful change.  Together, we’re able to redefine what it means to truly see ourselves reflected on screen.

By Jamie Swaby

I'm an experienced video producer/director with credits across some of the biggest BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 shows/brands. With over 10 years of industry experience across multiple departments, I've been able to gain a well-rounded set of skills that help me communicate clearly with and help our clients take their digital content to the next level. In my spare time, you'll usually find me either working out, at the cinema, or mapping out the best coffee spots in Manchester... but I'm probably at my happiest whilst playing video games on the sofa with my little girl.