Why is it so difficult for some companies to recruit and hire talented women? They’re simply not working hard enough at it, says Samantha Bee, host of “Full Frontal,” a new late-night TV show airing Mondays on TBS at 10:30 p.m. est.
With the launch earlier this year, Bee became the sole woman with a late-night show — and she has done it with the help of a staff largely populated by women. On a recent podcast episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka, she said that her diverse staff, a rarity in television, didn’t come by accident. She said the “Full Frontal” team made diversity a priority.
“You actually have to do more than just putting out a submission packet and saying, ‘All people apply, please,’” Bee said on the podcast. “You have to make calls, you have to contact people who you know from that community, you have to go, ‘Hey, who do you know?’”
Networking to find diverse talent may seem like a no-brainer, but Bee says not all hiring managers have that skill set — especially when it comes to recruiting women and people of color.
“That’s something we thought a lot about,” she said. “We do need to keep pushing the needle forward.”
Although Bee didn’t discuss the exact gender and racial makeup of her staff, she emphasized that the team successfully recruited and hired women and people of color for key roles. She suggested that sometimes her team would target a specific demographic for a major hire, such as an African-American woman or Asian woman.
“Broadening the point of view is only going to benefit you,” she said about diversity. “It is just going to make you see things you never thought of before. People bring in jokes that I would have never thought of. People bring stories that never would have occurred to me. You need people from all different walks of life. It helps so much.
“It takes a lot of effort, a certain amount of creativity. I don’t want to claim to be solving problems. I just know for us we are trying to make change. We are trying to make a difference.. We are doing our absolute best and hopefully it will get better and better and better. That’s our dream.”