Wendy Simpson OAM

Founding Chair & Ambassador, SBE Australia
Chair, Wengeo

An experienced business leader, Wendy Simpson has made a career out of driving innovation and change.  

Widely regarded as a pioneer, she has held key leadership roles across a number of traditionally male dominated industries, from listing ASX industrial aftermarket company ASX: AMA, to airfreight, telecommunications, precision engineering and property development, Wendy has been a tireless advocate for women in business and female entrepreneurs.

Having experienced first-hand the difficulties faced by women entrepreneurs in raising capital in Australia whilst co-owning Westray Engineering as the Founding SBE Chair, Wendy worked with a team of local business leaders and Springboard Enterprises in USA, to establish its highly acclaimed accelerator program in Australia. Hence, SBE Australia was founded. 

Wendy‘s business experience includes being the first woman to run TNT International’s global airfreight operations; being the first female Senior Vice President Asia Pacific of telecoms company Alcatel with responsibility to establish the regional headquarters in Shanghai and negotiating with the Chinese Government to bring the internet to China.  Wendy was the Victorian Government’s first, and only female Trade Commissioner for North Asia.   

A serial business and social entrepreneur and investor, Wendy is also the driving force behind several companies in the precision engineering and property development industries. 

Wendy currently serves as a non-executive director with the General Sir John Monash Foundation, Australia’s premier international scholarship program, and World Vision Australia, one of Australia’s largest disaster relief and development agencies.  

Wendy was instrumental in developing the Telstra Business Awards, ensuring one award category for women. The Premier’s Award for Businesswomen of the Year has since evolved into its own independent awards, the Telstra Businesswomen’s Awards.

Wendy also helped establish the Australian Council of Business Women and the International Women’s Federation of Commerce and Industry. Since 2010 Wendy has been part of the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network.  

Wendy is a 3-time finalist in Telstra Businesswomen’s Awards, having been nominated by QBE Insurance, Alcatel and Westpac, and in 2006 was a finalist in the Shanghai Business Women of the Year Awards. 

In 2013 Wendy received an Order of Australia Medal for her service to the community through a range of women’s and youth organisations. That same year she was inducted into the Australian Businesswoman’s Hall of Fame and featured as one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review.  

Wendy lives in Sydney and has been married to her husband Geoffrey for 41 years. They are active members of their local church, c3 in Darlinghurst, in 2011 Wendy underwent extensive treatment for a rare Pediatric cancer. Now in remission, Wendy is delighted to again enjoy life to the full.