CAREER INSIGHT FROM INDUSTRY LEADER – JUDITH CROMPTON

As we continue to navigate this challenging time in our industry, many are reassessing their career path and options available.   Over the coming months, AA Executive division will be featuring industry leaders who have generously shared their valuable experiences and advice to help provide valuable career insights.

This month AA is proud to feature Judith Crompton – Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific – Cover-More Travel Insurance

Judith is an inspiration to women everywhere and particularly in the travel industry. Having led major corporate travel management companies, Judith then became a significant force in the airline industry, becoming regional GM for Qantas Europe before moving to Etihad and returning to Australia as Chief Commercial Officer with Virgin Australia. In 2016, Judith joined Cover-More, one of the world’s leading global travel insurance providers and part of Zurich Group. Judith is now Cover-More’s CEO, Asia Pacific.

What has been your greatest achievement in your career to date?

I have many career highlights but two really stand out for me. My first was when I was successful in joining Qantas at a senior position, as one of the General Managers. At that time, 2006, there were very few females who held General Manager positions. It was a huge career highlight for me to attain such a senior position while working for an Australian icon such as Qantas. My other career highlight was the 12 months that I spent living and working in Switzerland for Cover-More as CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa. For those who know me, I have a love affair with everything European, so it was just incredible to be located in Zurich Group’s head office in Switzerland, living and working and enjoying that lifestyle. But also, here am I, the person who left school with no qualifications and I am now sitting in the global head office of one of the biggest financial institutions in the world. So that was a highlight for me.

How has the workforce changed over time since you began your career?

I started my career 40 years ago and a lot has changed in that time. I think the biggest thing is recognition of diversity and I am not just talking about the male/female piece, but I am talking about whether you are able bodied or disabled, culture, sexual preference etc. There really is a recognition now, which is just wonderful. I think that recognition has then created flexible working conditions because now we have diversity driving great workplace cultures, more understanding and higher productivity. The world was different; it was very much Monday to Friday 9-5 and that was how the world operated in an office.  I just think it is great the way the world is moving now.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders?

Be true to yourself. Know your own talents and skills. Find your voice and be prepared to speak up. I have come across many females along the way when they’ve been asked to lead a project or put their hat in the ring for a promotion who won’t back themselves or find all the reasons why they can’t actually do it. Whereas a man is more likely to say “Yes, I can do it”. I think females, like their male counterparts, need to back themselves more, know what their skill sets are and find the strength of their voice around the table. Sometimes it can be very scary speaking up in certain situations and I think any female needs to find that courage, dig deep and stand up.

 

Should you require any assistance or career advice, please do not hesitate to contact our national executive team executive@aaappointments.com.au