After extending their partnership last summer, Netflix and accomplished producer Shonda Rhimes broaden their commitment with the launch of new inclusive programs for diversity, equity, inclusion, access initiatives and opportunities. The new programs are called The Producers Inclusion Initiative and The Ladder, which both will be supported by Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity.

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The programs will allow graduates to be considered for job consideration on Shondaland and other Netflix productions. The Producers Inclusion Initiative is specifically designed as a nine-week virtual program to train indie producers, unit production managers, supervisors and first assistant directors, who come from those historically underrepresented communities. The program’s participants will learn from executives and key production department heads from Netflix, Shondaland and elsewhere in the industry with the express goal of minting qualified line producers for the studio system. In addition to monthly stipends while in the program, graduates will connect with folks at the two companies and others about potential gigs or other career development opportunities.


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The Ladder, for its part, is set up to provide opportunities for people from marginalized groups who are looking to gain the kind of on-set experience and training that’s key to success in the film and TV business. Like the Inclusion Initiative, the Ladder participants will be paid during their time in the program, which will also transport those taking part from central points around London.

Shondaland’s Head of Production Sara Fischer had this to say on the new programs and opportunities: “At our core, Shondaland is a company dedicated to championing opportunities for underrepresented communities both on and off the screen. We have made incredible strides with ensuring women are represented in our productions and I’m excited to expand our efforts and see real results with all marginalized groups. Our partnership with Netflix has allowed us to create these two new incredible programs that have already led to palpable changes in our industry. I am extremely proud to be a part of history as we look forward to greater representation on set.”

Shonda Rhimes is one of the most high-profile and commercially successful showrunners in the business.