MS MARGARET JACKSON AC
Chairperson, Qantas Airways (2000-2007)
Companion of the Order of Australia (2003)
Director, Billabong International Limited (2000-2011)
Unit: Manage Operational Plan
Topic: Plan & Manage Resource Acquisition
Margaret Jackson is a well-known Australian corporate executive who has held positions on the boards of companies such as Qantas, BHP and ANZ Bank. Jackson worked with Australia’s biggest airline, Qantas, for 15 years including seven as the company’s chair. During this time, she faced down a number of crises including the collapse of Ansett and the repercussions of the September 11 attacks. She also oversaw efforts to merge Qantas and Air New Zealand and made the decision to order $12b of aircraft in 2000. It was the biggest purchase the company had ever made up to that point. Previous to this appointment, Jackson was the first female to sit on BHP’s board of directors and first woman to become the chairman of a top-50 publicly listed company in Australia.
Jackson is now working as the chairman of financial services group FlexiGroup and president of Australian Volunteers International. She continues to promote women’s causes in the workplace and call for better inclusion of women in high-ranking professional positions.
Jackson has dedicated a good sum of her time to investigating why it is that there are so few women appointed to company boards, while also working to improve the opportunities for women who seek to take up these positions. She believes that it is important for company boards to do more to include women and other under-represented groups in their make-up. She says that boards require diversity across skills, age, gender and industries so that they can introduce a more diverse way of thinking into their business practices.