’98 alumna shares her role with a leading global toy company
A word of advice from Amy Thompson: be open. Open to new ideas. Open to diversity. And open to equality and inclusion. As executive vice president and chief people officer for Mattel, the ’98 Chaminade alumna oversees all global human resources functions, including compensation and benefits, organizational design and leadership development for the company.
Speaking virtually to students during the Dean’s Speaker Series, Thompson shared her impressive employment history. Before joining Mattel, she served as chief people officer for TOMS Shoes, where she successfully developed and implemented organizational plans to scale the company globally by elevating talent and direct-to-consumer capability. She also founded TOMS Leading Ladies, an organization dedicated to empowering and inspiring women leaders.
Prior to TOMS, she held several global HR leadership roles at Starbucks Coffee Company, as well as led HR teams and departments at Ticketmaster Corporation and Citysearch.com.
“I believe my formative experiences, including at Chaminade, shaped my future,” Thompson told attendees. “I came to Chaminade on a full athletic scholarship and, as an athlete, you have to be disciplined.”
The Dean’s Speaker Series is designed to bring private, nonprofit and public sector leaders who have achieved recognition in their respective fields to share their expertise and insights on a broad range of timely issues, as well as share the highlights, challenges and turning points of their individual career paths.
“The Speaker Series is intended to extend classroom learning,” said School of Business and Communication Interim Dean Annette Santos. “It’s a co-curricular experience where the integration between theory and practice is reinforced and realized.”
Another intention of the forum is to bring a diversity of social, cultural, economic and other business-related perspectives to the Chaminade community in order to engage in ways that inform and encourage sustainable business for good.
“One of Mattel’s external recognitions that I’m really proud of is its standing with the Human Rights Campaign,” Thompson said. “In 2022, for the fourth year in a row, Mattel received a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey that measures corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality.’”
As chief people officer, Thompson is guided by several key questions: “Do employees feel supported? Can they be authentic? Do they feel that they belong?”
“We have three values that are foundational to Mattel,” Thompson pointed out in her PowerPoint slide. “Collaboration, Innovation and Execution, which leads to our pillars of leadership: build and drive culture, manage performance, support career growth, promote wellbeing and growth mindset.”
School of Business and Communication Senator and Intern, and United Nations Association of Chaminade University (UNAC) President, Jasmine Mondelo could clearly sense that Thompson immensely cares for Mattel’s culture and talent. She also believes that Mattel offers a prime business model that fosters and values employee relations.
“As a college student who will set out on my own career path after graduation, Amy Thompson and Mattel’s message of inclusivity, fairness and commitment to personal and professional growth is inspiring to me,” said Mondelo after attending the lecture. “Wherever I work, I would want to feel valued and respected as an employee, motivated to achieve success for myself and the company, and capable of continuously improving myself.”
Santos hopes that students will have several takeaways after attending and listening to these guest speakers. “1) I hope that students would be inspired by the personal and professional journey of the featured speakers in ways that enhance their educational experience,” she said. “2) Understand that personal and professional growth is a process that involves challenges and turning points on the way to wins and transformation; and 3) this event also provides opportunities for students to build their network, possibly creating meaningful connections with speakers or those in attendance.”