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Nov 2010

Case study: Jasmin Harvey, the Qantas Group

Jasmin Harvey ACMA is the manager for risk and sustainability at the Qantas Group, Australia.

Jasmin Harvey, manager for risk and sustainability

In 2000, while working for Deloitte, Jasmin was seconded to Canada. In 2002, while working for the Australian Securities Institute (now FINSIA), she led a project in Mumbai and worked closely with the Indian Institute of Bankers. In 2003, she moved to the UK for four and a half years, during which time she completed the CIMA professional qualification.

After returning to Australia, Jasmin joined the Qantas Group, a leading global airline group with headquarters in Australia, as the group manager for risk and sustainability reporting. Jasmin’s role involves developing the sustainability agenda and external reporting strategy for the group, continuous improvement of the group’s risk management framework, and providing risk and sustainability advisory services to the group and its business units.

Over the last two and a half years Jasmin has been instrumental in evolving the group’s sustainability reporting from a ‘basic’ level to ‘best practice’, as recognised by external stakeholders including investors, lenders and corporate customers.

Jasmin is also a member of CIMA's research and development and research advisory boards, and the Deakin Business School's academic advisory board as a risk and sustainability advisor. She talks below about her highly successful career.

Working overseas

One of the most influential aspects on my professional career has been gaining international experience and working across different cultures.  

This international experience, supported by CIMA’s international qualification, broadened my skill set and, in particular, developed my emotional and cultural intelligence through working with diverse cultures. It also provides a distinguishing feature on my CV for leadership and, in future, board roles.

 

The value of mentors

 

I believe a mentor relationship is invaluable. It keeps you focused and provides a different perspective on the challenges you face at different times in your career. Mentors offer an independent perspective and can provide a great sounding board for current challenges and workplace issues. They also provide a source of motivation and ensure you remain active in managing your career.

‘A mentor relationship is invaluable’

I have found having multiple mentors of most value – male and female mentors, both internal and external to my organisation. Internally, a senior mentor can act as a talent broker and help you progress to the next level, while externally a senior mentor can ensure you’re focused on the bigger picture and on your long-term aspirations.

 

Seize opportunities

 

The only way you will develop and progress is to continually stretch yourself. Never say no to an opportunity, especially if it is outside of your comfort zone.

Being a good leader

A good leader needs to inspire and engage those around them. They also need to lead by example and this includes upholding the highest standards of ethics and integrity. While a strategic vision is required, it’s the softer skills such as influencing and empathy that have a significant impact on successfully leading a team.

‘Never say no to an opportunity’

I think in general women possess some different qualities compared with men, including being more compassionate, better listeners, and more intuitive around how others are feeling, for example through reading body language. These skills can help them be better leaders.

The role of employers

Women are at a short-term disadvantage when commencing and returning from maternity leave as they have to naturally take a career break. The role of the employer is critical in ensuring that this does not impact their long-term career opportunities and development.