Diana Ortiz, vice president of customer experience and marketing for Kimberly-Clark Professional, is proud of her background as the daughter of Latin American immigrants. We spoke with Diana about her family, personal purpose and how she has seen marketing to diverse communities change over time.
How has your background impacted your world view?
First, I’m a mom to Daniela, a wife to Alfredo, and a passionate marketer and general manager. My family will tell you that these aspects of me are inseparable. I was born and raised in New York, and I’m the daughter of Latin American immigrants.
My parents gave me three life gifts – opening my eyes to the world through culture and travel, teaching me to be a life-long learner through an emphatic focus on education, and driving me to be better, to strive for excellence, and to continuously pursue all of these. This all laid the cornerstones of who I am.
My career has spanned more than two decades. I've been fortunate to work across almost every region of the world. This has developed my self-awareness and given me an understanding of different perspectives and situations. My worldview centers on the belief that learning is a lifelong pursuit, empathy and having the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes is an essential skill, and always treating others as you’d like to be treated.
When did you become interested in general management and marketing?
My interest in general management and marketing began during my college years. At its core, it is about people, including customers, leaders, and teams. It’s about understanding people’s needs and wants and determining how and where to best connect with them.
General management and marketing require a combination of conceptual and analytical thinking. Turning data and information into insights, managing profit and loss, and developing growth strategies are all skills I wanted to develop and hone. I was excited about the prospect of turning ideas into value for customers and our business. This has materialized into an exciting career.
Can you share a bit about your career journey and how you made your way to Kimberly-Clark?
I’ve spent more than 25 years in sales, marketing, and general management roles in business to business and business to consumers industries. I’ve marketed and sold more than 10 different product categories across four multinational companies. I’ve worked on strategy, innovation, marketing, and sales in global, regional, and local roles – turning visions into reality.
I’ve spent 11 years of this incredible journey at Kimberly-Clark. My path started as global director of the iconic Kleenex® brand and led to the Latin America sector leader role for feminine and adult care, where we built an incredible brand purpose, innovation pipeline, and team.
I shifted to Kimberly-Clark Professional as the general manager of North Latin America, and then vice president of Latin America for Kimberly-Clark Professional, where we reinvented ourselves during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, I lead the global customer experience and marketing team for Kimberly-Clark Professional, where I’m building new capabilities for the business unit and leveraging these past experiences.
During this journey, I’ve grown professionally, but I have also grown personally because I’ve had the honor of working with a diverse mix of customers, leaders, and teams.
What’s the biggest highlight from your time at Kimberly-Clark?
One highlight has been working with the Latin America team across consumer and Kimberly-Clark Professional these past eight years. We not only grew the business financially, but the team delivered brands and solutions that spoke to people’s needs and hearts with intention. We reignited a sense of purpose, and those team members grew and took on leadership positions across the company.
How do you connect with Kimberly-Clark's purpose of Better Care for a Better World?
My personal purpose is to leave a meaningful, long-lasting imprint on the business, our communities, and our teams. I am motivated to build businesses and talent so that others can flourish and contribute to their fullest potential. That’s the primary reason I connect to Kimberly-Clark's purpose and values:
- We care for everyone we serve: our customers, our people, and our stakeholders.
- We own our work and move fast with integrity and respect.
- We act and take responsibility.
Who or what inspires you?
My parents are my inspiration. They emigrated to the United States when they were 18 years old. They built a new life, faced challenges, and worked hard to achieve the life they dreamed of for their family. My faith also grounds and inspires me with important principles that guide my life -- treat others as you would like to be treated, be a servant leader, and give out of the abundance you have received. I’ve also had amazing mentors who have taught me about courage, honesty, and authenticity. They opened doors and extended a guiding hand during critical moments in my career.
Latinos are the fastest growing minority in the U.S. How have you seen marketing toward Latinos change, and what do you expect in the future?
Some things have changed and progressed, yet there is more we need to do. Over the years, I’ve seen approaches that span a continuum from complete assimilation to separate efforts that target Hispanics exclusively. My hope is that we can market based on needs, behaviors, and attitudes in ways that celebrate the common aspects of our cultures – even when we come from different places. This can be a meaningful force for the unity and respect we all desire, especially during these times. This is one of the reasons I love working for Kimberly-Clark. Building an inclusive and diverse culture is a responsibility we take to heart – not just because it makes business sense, but because it is the right thing to do. We believe each person should be treated with respect and dignity and valued for their unique talents and experiences. These principles guide and inform our marketing efforts as well.
The theme of Hispanic Heritage Month is Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation. The theme reinforces the need to ensure diverse voices and perspectives are welcomed in decision-making processes, thereby helping to build stronger communities and a stronger United States. How does it connect to you?
It connects with me in two ways. First, to create an environment where inclusion is the reality for ALL, it requires us to start with OURSELVES. It starts with self-awareness, understanding and dissecting who we are, what we believe, and why we do things a certain way. It requires curiosity and humility to learn, confront, and explore sides of ourselves. It commands intention and comfort in the discomfort, and it’s what creates the basis from which you then can understand differences and similarities with others. It is a recipe that fosters respect and a genuine desire to include others.
We unleash human and business potential when we include diverse perspectives in our team dynamics and decision-making. It creates an environment where we believe we come to work as our authentic selves, have real discussions, and create ideas and solutions that might not have been generated otherwise. This is meaningful and purposeful and creates the kind of environment where we all want to work.