After twenty years building the fledgling Apple brand in Australia, Diana reached the top of the business, only to be struck down by breast cancer. Now fully recovered, this tireless leader uses her experience to help other women achieve more, and guides major Australian corporations towards gender balance, inclusion and diversity.
When you don’t know what you don’t know, you’ll simply do whatever it takes to get it done.
That could almost be Diana Ryall’s philosophy on her remarkable journey to success.
Describing herself as an “end of the war gift” for her parents, Diana was born at the beginning of the baby-boom era and grew up at a time when no-one talked about glass ceilings. She didn’t know there were limits placed on her achieving success in the business world and she didn’t know women would find it difficult to get a seat in the boardroom.
And, because she didn’t know, there was no reason not to try.
She joined Apple Computer Australia in 1983 and over the next twenty years worked her way to the top of the ladder.
Diana recalls, “I started by training teachers who were just beginning to get computers in the schools and had no idea what to do with them.
“Then I moved into marketing, and later headed up the whole education division. When I moved out of the education market I did some business development work in Asia.”
Then Diana moved into looking after customer support as well as the company’s developers, and her progression through the senior ranks culminated in the role of Managing Director. A real highlight came in 2000 when Apple won Employer of the Year.
As Diana notes, “It was the first year of the award and we entered because it was a way of getting an engagement survey done by someone else at no cost.