Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has announced the airline will continue to campaign for social justice causes, after overwhelming public support for its backing of marriage equality.

Joyce said that following the company’s support for marriage equality during the 2017 debate, its brand has been stronger than ever, News.com.au has reported.

“What you see in any… surveys that have been done on trust, is people want strong leadership and authentic leadership, whether it’s in business, in politics, in all forms of life,” said Joyce.

He said that while other brands have gone backwards after taking social stands, Qantas has thrived.

“We’ve seen our brand improve in the last few years, supporting marriage equality, supporting gender equality and Indigenous rights,” he said.

“So we’re going to do a lot more of this because it’s the best thing I think we’ve ever done.”

Joyce was an outspoken advocate for marriage equality throughout the debate, at times drawing criticism from opponents and even being hit with a pie during a speech at one point.

He donated $1 million to the Yes campaign for marriage equality, calling it “the least he could do”.

Speaking at the International Society of Women Airline Pilots conference in Sydney, Joyce said that Qantas supported equal rights in the name of a “fair go”.

“We want a fair go for the female community, we want a fair go for the Indigenous community, we want a fair go across the board, and that’s why we feel passionate about getting this right,” he said.

The airline has identified goals for gender equality among its ranks.

It currently has women making up almost 40 per cent of its board and senior management, and wants to increase its intake of pilots to the same proportion within 10 years, from just 6 per cent at present.

Joyce said problems with inequality in the industry are “deep rooted”, though Qantas has already made progress toward hiring more female pilots, with 13 per cent of those hired last year being women.

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