Ms Ridout has this week been appointed to the board of the Reserve Bank – one of the most prestigious positions in the country.
The announcement was made by treasurer Wayne Swan on Monday night (December 5) and is a decision that reflects the changing face of the RBA – Ms Ridout is one of three women on the nine member board.
Explaining the government's decision the deputy leader of the Labor party said that Ms Ridout had been "a driving force in Australian business and public policy development over many years".
"She's been very active … as a board member and as a business advocate – she's got a very strong understanding of the pressures which are faced by business in sectors of our patchwork economy."
Mr Swan also made it clear that neither he nor the current government were concerned that the appointment of Ms Ridout – a business advocate – would present a conflict of interest.
He said: "I am happy to leave it up to Ms Ridout."
"She stands in her appointment because of her commitment, her talent, her experience and her understanding of Australian business."
For her part the AIG chief was more than happy to take on the challenges that come with joining the RBA board.
"It is an honour to be appointed to this most important position," she asserted. Ms Ridout also said that it was "a great privilege" to be considered for the role.
According to political commentators Ms Ridout is one of the most influential lobbyists in Canberra at the moment.
She has served time on the Henry Tax Review and is on the boards of AustralianSuper, the Australian Super Trustee and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, as well as the Prime Minister's Taskforce on Manufacturing.
Ms Ridout will replace BlueScope chairman Graham Kraehe when she steps into her new position early next year.
Another major change came in the form of economist Philip Lowe who will be the next deputy governor of the central bank.
Dr Lowe has long been a favourite to succeed governor Glenn Stevens when his term comes to an end in September 2013.
For the last three years Dr Lowe has worked as an assistant governor and chief economic advisor for the central bank, however, he started his career with them in 1980.