Trewstar Corporate Board Services

Stephen Colbert and Trewstar – Peas in a Pod?

August 23, 2018

We’re not quite as funny, but we have a lot in common.

In a recent interview with Sopan Deb, a culture reporter for the New York Times, Colbert discusses what had been his growing frustration with the talent pipeline during his years at the Colbert Report. While he had come to realize the need for diverse voices in his writer’s room, he was unable to find them. He would ask for women writers and writers of color and receive “150 packets and there would be 8 women.” 

When he launched The Late Show in 2015, he executed a fundamental change in his approach to recruiting new writing talent. He asked for only women – and the pipeline expanded dramatically:

Then I got 87 women. And I thought, ‘Where were these people before?’ And that was sort of the realization of my naiveté, that it’s not enough to say you want it, you have to go to the not-ordinary step. . . . We realized we had to take an extraordinary step to get an extraordinary room.

Today, half the seats in his room are filled with a diverse set of writers.

It is amazing that a luminary of the comedy world would resort to the very process that Trewstar employs in the realm of board search. Colbert's extraordinary step of asking for only diverse candidates ensured that the search nets were cast wider than usual. This approach has been part of our process since we set out to redefine the business of board search. It is both extraordinary and logical – and, as Colbert discovered, it works!

Watch the full TimesTalks interview 


Beth Stewart
Founder and CEO
Trewstar Corporate Board Services