Diane Dimond: Principal and Chief Executive Officer at Petroc College
Biggest professional achievement to date
In my early career, in the private sector, I was Finance Director for a group of companies before the age of 30, which at the time I felt was quite some achievement.
Now, I am proud to lead Petroc, a College of Further and Higher Education, employing more than 800 staff and supporting over 10,000 students annually. Our staff team is amazing; collectively and individually they really do raise aspiration and support students to be successful through exceptional teaching. Education is a key enabler of positive social mobility and I am delighted to be at the helm of an organisation committed to delivering better opportunities for all.
Most profound/life-changing, business moment
Deciding to give up my private sector Finance Director career to retrain as a Mathematics teacher. I really wanted to give something back to the education sector because education had been transformational for me; I haven’t looked back.
Advice for a young woman stepping into the world from school, college or uni
Have belief in yourself and your ability. If you aim high and work hard there are no limits to what you can achieve.
Which book has had the greatest influence on your life
What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge – I read this book as a child. It tells the story of an active and headstrong adolescent who has to come to terms with the aftermath of a debilitating accident; growing up and learning patience, kindness and resilience along the way, it is just fascinating.
If you could make one change to the world…
Take the plastic out of our oceans. We seem to be intent on destroying our world and I fear that actions taken from now will be too little and too late.
The most influential woman in your life
The most influential business woman, is a College Principal who I worked for about 15 years ago; I always admired her management style and I do still draw on that sometimes. Otherwise, there’s no doubt that both my mum and daughter are key influencers; my teenage daughter, in particular, has an opinion on everything and is never afraid to share it with me.
What does 2018 hold for you?
An exciting year, seeing our current students: this country’s future entrepreneurs, technical specialists, teachers, medics, politicians etc. succeed in their qualifications and progress.
As mum to three teenagers, I’ll also be busy supporting and encouraging them with their studies and their personal interests.
Education improves lives and opens up opportunities. As a country we need to invest in education appropriately and ensure there is equality of access for all.
‘If you do tomorrow what you did today, you will get tomorrow what you got today’
Video From The Celebration
100 Most Influential Women 2018
Grow Exeter Magazine launched the ‘100 Most Influential Women 2018’ in Exeter and the region in December 2017 and we received around 500 nominations for influential women from all walks of life; our panel was spoilt for choice and hard-pressed to select only 100 from the talented nominees that they viewed. The Launch of the ‘100 Most Influential Women’ awards in 2018 has perhaps even more value than in any other year as it was just 100 years ago that the first woman was granted the right to vote in the UK.
Women have truly shown that they can shine in any environment, whether that be in the boardroom, teaching our children, climbing mountains, navigating uncharted waters, they can do anything that they set their mind to and we can’t wait to celebrate our own talented 100.
Honouring women in our March edition of Grow Exeter falls in line with International Women’s Day on the 8th March and the 100 finalists will also be featured in this special edition. To see the 100 finalists individually featured, please grab a copy of our March edition by pre-ordering through the link below. We will be publishing each woman online throughout March so watch our Facebook page or the website for their stories.
A huge congratulations to everyone nominated and to the finalists, you are all amazing!