Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

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Our Take

Great ideas know no color. They don't belong or prescribe to any one religion, racial makeup, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Great ideas transcend. That's what makes them great. The same can be said of our employees. Their differences are their strengths. And we leverage those strengths to create work that resonates, not rings hollow.

#BlackLivesMatter

We cannot be silent any longer. We cannot sit back as black lives continue to be discarded.
We are speaking up for the fight against systemic racism and the inequities that have come with it since 1619.
We stand in solidarity with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice and too many black people dying because of racism and hatred.
We will not stop speaking out. Because when one of us can’t breathe, none of us can breathe.

#3PercentPayEquity

 Marcus Thomas is a signatory of the 3 Percent Pay Equity pledge. By pledging, an agency affirms:

  1. We have conducted a wage review within the last two years or plan to within the next 12 months
  2. We are committing to rectifying like-for-like disparities or will do so following our review
  3. We are committed to advancing pay equity through collaboration, communication and continued identification and promotion of best practices to close the wage gap in the advertising industry

Since signing, we have conducted a wage review, and made salary adjustments (as of fall 2020). Diversity, equity and inclusion continues to be a priority for Marcus Thomas.

Courageous Conversations

In 2019, the entire staff at Marcus Thomas engaged in a two-day workshop called Beyond Diversity to understand the impact of race in the work environment and to investigate the role that racism plays in our daily lives. The goal was to begin to transform beliefs and behaviors so people of all races can achieve at their highest levels and live their most powerful and empowered lives. In turn, we believe that contributes to the work we create – work for our clients that is bolder, braver and creates bigger impact.  


Four Agreements  

Stay engaged

Experience discomfort

Speak your truth

Expect/accept non-closure

“The Courageous Conversations training was eye-opening and impactful beyond words. It’s an incredibly powerful experience to have these emotional conversations with co-workers that go beyond the four walls of an office and humanize all of the people around you to understand them on a deeper level – from their past to their present and how that affects their everyday lives and work.”

Courtney Ou, Manager of Programmatic Services

“To fight racism, we need to know where and in what form it exists. Courageous Conversations helped me see where racism lives in the workplace, so I can help remove the obstacles to creating a workplace that welcomes and elevates the voices of everyone.”

TJ Prochaska, Copywriter

“Courageous Conversations has made it easier for me to have conversations with co-workers about why I am who I am – my lived experiences that have shaped the way that I see myself and the world around me. As a Black woman, knowing that everyone at Marcus Thomas now has a deeper understanding of race and the way it impacts our everyday lives further encourages me to be exactly who I am – unapologetically woman and unapologetically Black.”

Joy Smith, Diversity and Talent Acquisition Specialist

Marcus Thomas Diversity Goals:

Just like we tell our clients, everything is measurable. The numbers matter. While we’re far from where we need to be, we work every day to reach the goals we’ve set in front of us.  

CategoryFemaleWhiteBlackLatinxAsianAll Other
executive level31%68%6%6%12%6%
all staff58%85%5%4%4%2%


Categoryexecutive levelall staff
Female31%58%
White68%85%
Black6%5%
Latinx6%4%
Asian12%4%
All Other6%2%

HIRING GOALS: Increase hires of color from 12% to 20% by YE 2020.

EDUCATION: Increase participation in affinity groups.

SUPPLIER DIVERSITY: Have 10% of total spend be from diverse suppliers.

Marcus Thomas Affinity Groups

Our affinity groups help create impactful cultural change. They also help us attract, engage, develop and retain a diverse team at Marcus Thomas.

IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity in Action)

We serve as a resource and a model for intentional diversity, inclusion and equity efforts.
We recognize diversity is a daily action to ensure everyone has equal opportunity. We aim to create an environment in which individuals – regardless of age, cultural background, physical abilities, race, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully bring their whole selves to work.

Parents @ Work

We are working parents and caregivers, helping one another navigate the many intersections of work and family life with advice, support and resources.

The Table

We bring important issues to The Table. Issues like equal pay, equal representation at all levels of the agency, and sexism in the workplace.

We want everyone to have a seat at The Table. We believe that women’s unique experiences and perspectives help make the work better. But we also acknowledge that we can learn a lot from others, too.

We lay everything out on The Table. This is a brave space where women can listen, learn, laugh, cry, share, empathize and support – with complete anonymity.

Green Team

We work with employees to reduce waste and consumption in an effort to lessen the agency’s environmental impact.
The effects of adopting green practices at home, while important, pale in comparison to adopting these practices in the workplace. The Marcus Thomas Green Team strives to help employees implement greener practices at the office, and break habits that create excessive waste of both materials and resources. We do this through education, waste and sourcing initiatives, and careful vendor management.

Black at MT

The mission of Black at MT is to foster a workplace where all Black employees can thrive by bringing diverse perspectives to impact Marcus Thomas LLC’s culture through professional development advancement, thought leadership, and community engagement.

Provide career and leadership development opportunities

Impact culture through education and engagement

Foster connection with current and potential Black/African-American staff

Engage with the community of Marcus Thomas and Greater Cleveland

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