Spotlight on Women: Diana Kelly

What is your background?

I graduated from high school at 16 with a full scholarship to Marymount Manhattan College. I am one of 19 vice presidents, managing 82 stores with 15,000 people in the continental U.S., Hawaii, and Guam.

When did you join Home Depot?

I started as a part-time cashier in 1991 and met the man of my life. I took the job just to have the opportunity to meet him. We’ve now been married for 24 years and we both work for Home Depot.

How does that work out?

We follow the five-minute rule—we only talk about business for five minutes. We both travel, but when we’re together, it’s quality time. My mom has lived in our home for the past 20 years and when our son was growing up, it was very helpful to have her with us. She’s my best friend.

What is your history with Home Depot?

I have worked in nine different states and still have aspirations to continue to grow. I put my effort into developing other people to grow, and that ultimately helps me to grow. I have lived by that my entire career.

Did you have a mentor?

Yes: Ann Marie Campbell, who is executive vice president of Home Depot stores. Her belief is that she paved the way for others. My favorite quote of hers is "It’s not about the title, it’s about the purpose of what you are doing." My grandmother was a great mentor; she taught me to stay positive.

How do you mentor others?

We have a Women in Leadership program and we meet on a quarterly basis. We teach them soft skills, merchandising, business acumen, and etiquette. A lot of women lack confidence and we help them in that regard.

Have you had any rough spots in your career?

No, because there’s so much respect within the company, so I’ve never had difficulty with men working for me.

I put my effort into developing other people to grow, and that ultimately helps me to grow.

What does Home Depot do to give back to its communities?

Giving back is one of the core values of Home Depot. We do a lot for the underserved population, veterans, and homeless. We help military service members with interviewing skills and we hold workshops for Special Olympians.

What advice would you give to young women?

Believe in yourself, challenge yourself, and you will be able to accomplish more than you ever thought was possible. Never give up. My perseverance helped me to advance, and that’s what got me to where I am today.

What do you do in your spare time?

Since our son is in college now, it’s like a brand-new beginning. We love walking the beach, and when our schedules permit, we love traveling to other countries.

What would you like to do in the future?

I would love to be president of Home Depots in Mexico. While I was working in Massachusetts in 2003, I realized that I was changing people’s lives, and found that the most meaningful thing was to help them with their career aspirations.

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