For the past 11 years, Pamela Thompson has been running two companies.
She founded Global Village Consulting in 2004 after 12 years in the industry, and in 2008 added a second business to her repertoire as she became a certified life and business coach and founded Creative Life Coaching.
The majority of Thompson’s career has been as a consultant, which has taken her across North America and around the world. As a consultant, she has lived and worked in Columbia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Lithuania and Afghanistan.
Traveling abroad and working internationally is something she has always wanted to do, and Thompson noted that’s part of what drew her to consulting.
“I’ve always been curious about people and cultures around the world, and I love to travel,” she explained. “When I was an academic, I taught at UBC Vancouver from 1981 to 1985 and then at Saint Francis Xavier University. During that time, my research was primarily with immigrant women including looking at the different experiences of women from five different countries adjusting to life in Canada.”
Thompson’s most recent consultation role saw her living in Kabul, Afghanistan, from October 2010 to November 2011 where she worked with that country’s Ministry of Public Health to develop their first strategic plan and develop the capacity of internal teams to do strategic and operational planning.
Afghanistan was a life changing experience for her, as she described it was difficult to stay calm amidst the chaos in the country, particularly on one day when she was part of a team giving a workshop in Kabul.
“All of a sudden this woman just stood up and she was ranting, and she said, ‘They’re attacking the Ministry of Public Health!’” Thompson recalled.
“I’d heard through my cell from my head of security, ‘Don’t move, there’s sniper fire, we’re under fire at the ministry, don’t move, stay where you are.’
“This woman was really upsetting, there were 90-plus people in the room. I just stood and I said, ‘I’m really scared. I understand your fearful. I’m Canadian, this doesn’t happen to us. That said, do you hear anything? Listen.’ You couldn’t hear a pin drop, because we were on the other side of the city. I said, ‘We’re safe here. If you wish to leave, you may.’ And nobody left, they all stayed to finish the workshop. The only female on my team was about to go up next for the last part of the workshop, and I could tell that she was worrying about her family. I asked her if she wanted me to do it, and she said no. She did a great job, but I could tell at the end that she had a tear going down her cheek.
“We debriefed afterwards and she said, ‘Pam, I’m so happy that I was able to be part of being a strong woman and hold the room, and be a model of that for people in my country.’
“Moments like that are really special, because you can see someone step up to the plate and be strong. If you can help in doing that, it’s really fulfilling.”
After Afghanistan, Thompson worked as a senior health advisor on seven projects to reduce infant mortality in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Bolivia.
She explained it was very rewarding and fulfilling to go to those countries, help with their projects and see the benefits.
Thompson has always loved people and working with them, encouraging them and supporting them, which led her to coaching. As a life and business coach, Thompson works with driven women who crave more balance and fun in their lives and who want to work smart and stay healthy.
Through her personal journey as a consultant and discoveries as a coach, Thompson became inspired to write the book ‘Learning to Dance with Life’, which launches on Aug. 26. The book identifies seven keys to consciously cultivating improved health, happiness and inner peace, which she discovered through her own life experience and research into the topic.
“I interviewed about 20 women from North America, one from the United Kingdom and seve al from Asia,” she said.
“Based on that and mywork with clients, I designed a group program and subsequently wrote the book.”
The goal of ‘Learning to Dance with Life’ is to teach women there is a better way to learn and grow, get more balance and have more fun – something Thompson has been able to do in her own life.
Thompson’s international experience, desire to help others improve themselves and willingness to take on new challenges are what make her a Woman to Watch.
Crowe MacKay’s Women to Watch program is a weekly feature that profiles remarkable women in our community, concluding October 16.