Success born of passion

Our Jess is best in the business

You can have the best-laid plans for your career, but the best often find their path by accident. That is certainly the case for Jess Anscombe General Manager for Corporate Traveller. A chance opportunity to join Flight Centre in Brighton, England has led to a stellar career that has just seen Jess selected as the ‘Corporate’ category winner of the 2018 Women in Travel Awards.

The award recognises Jess’ role in helping the business to transform Corporate Traveller in 2017, repositioning the brand and enriching the customer experience. The outcome was that Jess and her team significantly grew the number of new customers trading, boosted overall sales and improved the brand’s customer retention rate to 97%. While Jess was at the helm, she is quick to acknowledge the important role of her incredible team, across all areas of the business and all states.

But beyond the sales targets and KPIs, Jess is equally proud to be a mentor to other women in travel and to be part of an industry that recognises female leaders. “I feel very fortunate to work for a company that champions diversity, supports both genders equally and that truly believes in promoting from within,” says Jess. “Everyone is encouraged to enhance their skills, build confidence and to reach their potential.”

Jess’ success is a reflection of her belief that it’s essential to pursue a career in a field you love, to always enjoy what you do and to work hard. After completing a university degree with the goal of becoming a journalist, a gap year spent travelling around the world ignited Jess’ passion for travel. Her love of different places, languages and cultures was insatiable, but she never imagined she would be running a $1.2 billion company 16 years later.

Jess moved to Australia to manage Flight Centre Business Travel five years ago and has never looked back. “What I thought might be a two or three year stint in Australia, has become a permanent move,” says Jess. “I love the country, the people and the business culture, which encourages you to find a balance, stay fit and look after yourself.”

When she’s not working, Jess makes the most of every opportunity to get outdoors. From her home in Sydney Jess can be found enjoying the inner city lifestyle, running in Centennial Park, paddle boarding, exploring the Royal National Park or hiking in the Blue Mountains on the weekends.

When asked about her favourite Australian destination, Jess believes that there is too much wonderful diversity to choose just one place. However, she agrees that the outback and the Northern Territory are seriously underrated. “I recently drove from Alice Springs to Darwin and I love the desert, the wide-open spaces and the stories the local people have to tell,” enthuses Jess. “I’d also have to say that Tasmania and Byron Bay are perennial favourites, although there’s no city in the world quite as beautiful as Sydney.”

The annual Women in Travel Awards recognise exceptional women who have achieved success in their professional arenas and celebrates their invaluable contribution through their leadership, innovation and courage to the industry.