Ranking Australia’s top 10 professional female directors in the wake of Margaret Jackson’s resignation from Qantas was never going to be an easy task. The emails have been pouring in at such a rate that there’s enough material for another 10 names to create a top 20.

Catherine Livingstone should be near the top of any list and Diane Grady probably makes the overall top 10. We’ll come up with a definitive top 25 after digesting any further feedback to smayne@crikey.com.au:

  1. Catherine Livingstone: arguably the most accomplished female CEO from her six-year stint running Cochlear up until 1990. Now a director of Macquarie Bank and Telstra whilst chairing the CSIRO.
  2. Diane Grady: a former McKinsey partner who became a professional director in 1994 and sits on the Woolworths, Bluescope Steel and Wattyl boards.
  3. Carla Zampatti: has amassed a pile worth more than $100 million through her fashion business but is also a director of Westfield and McDonald’s Australia whilst chairing SBS.
  4. Helen Lynch: deputy chairman of Pacific Brands and still a director of Westpac, but with a reduced workload these days after losing Southcorp and retiring from Coles Myer in 2003.
  5. Susan Oliver: formerly with Andersen Consulting and CEO of the Australian Commission for the Future and now a director of Transurban, MBF and Programmed Maintenance Services.
  6. Lyndsey Cattermole: made a fortune building and then selling Aspect Computing which finished up with Telstra via Kaz and now sits on the Foster’s board after a brief stint with Tattersall’s last year.
  7. Elizabeth Proust: since retiring from ANZ in 2005-06, Jeff Kennett’s former top bureaucrat has so far only joined the Perpetual board.
  8. Naomi Milgrom: executive chair of Marc Besen’s burgeoning Sussan fashion group who last year took on her first public company gig with emerging fund manager Magellan Financial Group.
  9. Judith Sloan: conservative labour market academic who previously served on Mayne Nickless and the ABC but now just has Santos and the Primelife chair, plus a gig on the Fair Pay Commission.
  10. Anne Keating: Paul’s sister used to run United Airlines in Australia and had a turbulent time fighting with Nick Whitlam on the NRMA board, but now just serves John Singleton’s STW Holdings and two millionaire factory associates, Macquarie Leisure and Macquarie Goodman.