Building a Firm Foundation
Roslyn Dawson Thompson
Published May 8, 2019
On March 28, the University of Dallas welcomed Texas Women’s Foundation President
and CEO Roslyn Dawson Thompson as part of UD’s Leaders & Legends Speaker Series, where
she spoke about the importance of gender equity, diversity and inclusion.
Of the 120 different women’s foundations in the world, the Texas Women’s Foundation
is the second largest. Before joining the Texas Women’s Foundation and expanding it
to where it is today, Dawson Thompson spent 20 years in marketing and communications.
Dawson Thompson began the event by discussing the Texas Women’s Foundation, which
addresses economic and social disparity for women, aiming to help women gain valuable
skills so that they can take on more leadership roles.
“Women are not going to become economically secure with equal pay and opportunities
if we don’t have more women in leadership,” said Dawson Thompson.
She then went on to speak about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
At the time of its founding, the 19 women who made up the Texas Women’s Foundation
board came from all walks of life, and that is something that still holds true today.
“We hold one of the most diverse boards of any organization of modern times,” she
declared proudly. She emphasized the need for all companies to start pushing for more
diversity, not just because it creates a more culturally aware environment, but because
it creates value in an organization that would be lost otherwise. “The more your organization’s
workforce reflects your customers, the better you can serve them.”
Dawson Thompson also spoke about the influential people who are making a difference
in the community. From local heroes to NBA star Stephen Curry, she wanted to show
how even the smallest act of kindness could make a difference. “I encourage you all
to lead with your vision and your values, and I encourage you to ask yourself these
questions in life — ‘If not for me, then who?’ and ‘If not now, then when?’”
The University of Dallas Leaders & Legends Speaker Series was founded to further the
university’s mission of providing practice-based education by inviting business leaders
to share their experiences with graduate and undergraduate students in the classroom.
Through this program, alumni, business leaders and their companies are invited to
partner with the university in our shared pursuit of management excellence.
Learn more about the Leaders & Legends Speaker Series.