Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE has been in marketing PR and education for over 30 years, areas which have always been her passion. So when she was approached to get involved with the ground-breaking Powerlist Foundation Deloitte Leadership Programme (PFDLP) she instantly agreed to take part as a mentor in 2014. “On my first year of involvement the team I mentored went on to win the challenge, and I’ve been hooked since then,” she says. “The most pleasing aspect of my involvement has been seeing how the graduates grow, how their confidence expands and, of course, how their possibilities expand.”
Dr Thompson feels being invited and accepted to be on to the board of trustees because of the work she’s done with the graduates and her wider disciplines, is a testament to her passion for seeing millennials progress and to the great work the Powerlist Foundation is doing.
Since getting involved with the Powerlist Foundation Dr Thompson has mentored some of the graduates in marketing, PR, events and leadership. She says, “It’s been fascinating watching how our bright and hungry young people can quickly soak up adapt to and use information they learned on the summer school in their university life and how they share what they learned with others in their black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) networks. It makes it all worthwhile.”
Dr Thompson is also involved with pre-programme ideas which she also hopes to contribute to again this year.
Currently the majority of her time is spent on public speaking nationally and internationally, mostly to corporates, delivering leadership training complied from the content of her best-selling book on Amazon ‘7 Traits of Highly Successful Women on Boards’. She also consults for Plymouth University and GSM London as well as private clients and also does book writing coaching.
Dr Thompson did not attend university, but has continued with life-long learning through various courses and programmes and is currently doing an Executive MBA with Plymouth University. She says, “The day you stop learning is the day you are made redundant. Everything is moving so fast – there is always something new to learn.” Her two doctorates were awarded by London Metropolitan University and Plymouth University, for contributions to Global Diversity, small business, women and minorities.
Yvonne Thompson has over 30 years’ experience and expertise in the communications, marketing and PR sector. She was a founding director of the UK’s first legal black music radio station. She is a respected campaigner and advocate for racial and equality issues and supporting small businesses, and women in business and women in the workplace with focus on women on boards. In 2003 she received a CBE in Her Majesty’s Birthday Honours list recognising her work in these areas. In 2005 she received her first doctorate for this work from London Metropolitan University, and in 2015 she received her second honorary doctorate for work in Global Diversity and Equality from Plymouth University and GSM London. Leveraging her vast experience in gender equality in the workplace, in 2015 she published her first book, ‘7 Traits of Highly Successful Women on Boards’, where she interviewed 22 executive business women and charted their rise to the top from initially entering the workforce through to the board room. It was an instant hit, becoming an Amazon Best Seller in three categories even before its release date.
“Facts and figures don’t inspire people – people inspire people,” is a quote often used by Dr Thompson, included in her book and her presentations to corporates and institutions, both here and abroad which has inspired thousands of women. As a current member of the Cabinet Office Honours Committee she is advising on ways to widen participation, thereby increasing the number of BAME candidates nominated for honours. She also advises on the working committee for BAME TNON (The network of networks) which promotes BAME networks in over 40 corporates, and also sits on the 20/20 Committee – an independent committee researching the lack of minorities on FTSE boards, and looking at ways in which to increase those numbers with her programme – “All On Board” written from her book.