In the wake of strong criticism about recent decisions by corporate leadership – from Qantas grounding its fleet to shareholder anger over CEO salaries – Wengeo Group chairman Wendy Simpson said it’s time for the business community to solve the problems it’s created.
“Australia’s got the business leadership we’ve created but rather than whinge about it, let’s do something,” she said.
Keynote speaker at a Christian Business Network breakfast at Parliament House in Brisbane on November 18, Wendy said she believed many business leaders had abandoned a true sense of purpose in their roles.
“It is about time business leaders stepped up,” she said. “We have a responsibility to run our businesses in ways that benefit both our individual companies and the wider community.
“When we don’t, it gets messy.”
Chair of Australian Springboard – a venture catalyst program for women-led high growth companies –and member of the Australian Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Advisory Board, Wendy said she felt a strong sense of responsibility to seeing the next generation of business leaders mentored and promoted.
But she said every person in business should look beyond the walls of their own enterprise to consider the role they could play in shaping the wider business community.
“For those of us who know they are ʻcalledʼ to business, part of our role is to start to speak about and shape the type of business community that we say we want,” she said.
“And the more we do that, the more weʼll create and promote and push forward the types of leader who can lead this community to the higher standard we deserve.”
Known equally for her openness about her faith as her professional CV, Wendy is a past senior executive with QBE Insurance and TNT. She also lived and worked in China for seven years, serving first as the Asia Pacific senior vice president for Alcatel, and then North Asia Trade Commissioner for the Victorian Government.
The Wengeo Group is diversified industrial group with investments in manufacturing, precision engineering, industrial property development, venture capital and new media. In 1992, Wendy was a key figure in launching the Telstra Business Awards, which have since become a key event in the Australian business calendar.
The Christian Business Network breakfast will be held from 7-8.30am on November 18 at Parliament House, Brisbane, with doors opening from 6.30am. Members and non-members are all welcome. Cost is $40 per person – RSVP to email@example.com