Richmond’s top ad agency hosts its own pride display to show support for the LGBT community. In their Shockoe Bottom building, the Martin Agency has placed a rainbow flag with notes from employees thanking the organization for their support.
In an internal e-mail sent to staff, president Mike Hughes shared the sentiment of the agency’s executive committee in supporting diversity in the workplace.
At this company we’re not merely accepting of the wide range of humanity—we applaud it. If you’re good and talented and hardworking, if you’re respectful of the people you deal with, we’ll roll out the red carpet for you. We want different voices to come together here to create new things, new strategies and new executions.
At this point in history and in Richmond in particular, we do need to be public about our support for some types of workplace and community diversity so that there is no hesitancy or questionabout our commitments. Thank goodness we no longer have to point out that it’s fine with us if you’re Presbyterian or if you’re from Kentucky or if you’re a Democrat. On the other hand, we probably do still need to be clear and public with the fact that it’s fine with us if you’re African American or Hispanic or handicapped or Muslim or gay. Heck, we probably still have to make the point that there’s a place for you in the top ranks of business even if you’re . . . a woman.
There’s been a silly kerfuffle in Richmond lately about the Federal Reserve displaying a rainbow flag, a symbol of gay pride. We have been asked to show our support for the gay community by displaying a rainbow flag here. We’ll do that for all the reasons I cite here. (Well, since we don’t really have the right kind of flagpole, we might put up a poster or something—but you get the idea.)
We’re not unaware that there is a political circus around this kind of act—a circus that’s ginned up by politicians of every political stripe. We know some people will think we’re walking a tightrope here. Nevertheless we celebrate and acknowledge LGBT month the same way we celebrate and acknowledge the Christmas season, Black History Month and the 4th of July—even though we’re not all Christians, African Americans or even Americans.