2021 EMpower Ethnic Minority Role Model List Q&A: Warren Thompson, President & Chairman, Thompson Hospitality

May 13, 2021

In your role at Compass Group, how do you help drive diversity and inclusion – not just within the company, but in the communities we serve?
Over the past 25 years, it’s been a pleasure to serve as a role model for many individuals of color within Compass Group. It helps when they see a partner and a member of the executive board who looks like them. The success realized from my partnership with Compass Group has allowed me the ability to financially support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the education of the students we serve.

What is your approach to understanding the perspectives of colleagues from different backgrounds?
I have always tried to listen more than I talk. Listening more helps you better connect and understand people’s perspectives. While we may not always agree, we can disagree with civility and have respect for one another’s point of views.

Who is a notable figure in history or someone in your life who has inspired you to be a role model for diversity and inclusion?
Most notably, it is my father who was an activist within our community. People always came to him for help, and he worked hard to desegregate schools in the ’60s. He was an inspiring man.

Also, John H. Johnson, the founder of Ebony magazine. I watched him create a very successful black-owned business and he was one of the first African Americans that I knew who owned his own business.

What advice do you have for others to help them become a role model for diversity and inclusion?

  1. Do the right thing.
  2. Do the best you can.
  3. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Also, it’s important to remember that one should always remain true to thyself and personally define what success looks like for them, as an individual.