Known for her resilience and exceptional work ethic, Wendy McMillan boasts over 30 years of experience in the government, railway, infrastructure, transportation, and consulting sectors. Through positions as CEO of Rolling Stock Development Division for the Victoria State Government, blended directorships with Queensland Rail, and a number of senior executive roles, Wendy has become a talented communicator with a dedicated customer focus and the ability to accurately recognize the efficiency and performance levels of employees. Today, as the president of the Australia and New Zealand regions of Bombardier Transportation, she continues to demonstrate her adaptability as a transparent and ethical leader. “As you get further into your career, the benefit of having many different roles with great peers is you are able to understand what good looks like—on both the performance and people aspects,” she shares.
Established as a family-owned company in the early 1900s, Bombardier posted revenues of $15.8 billion US in fiscal year ending 31 December 2019 and has grown to become a global leader within the aviation and transportation industry. The transportation segment of the business currently employs around 36,000 people and offers a full portfolio of products, including metro, light rail, high speed, trams, locomotives, and signaling (both onboard and external). Bombardier’s core values shape the culture of the company and serve as its foundation. All actions and decisions are guided by integrity, respect for others, and commitment to excellence.
Wendy joined Bombardier in February 2019. She is one of only two women who sit on the global executive team and directly reports to Bombardier’s global transportation president. She is responsible for the stewardship of her region in all areas, including business development, financial performance, project execution, and services delivery. She also manages over 1,100 people, across Australia. “People, safety and wellbeing always come first within my industry,” she says.
Since Bombardier Transportation produces trams and trains for two states, Wendy often plays an operational role, as well, in which she is responsible for normal business metrics such as procurement, finances, and engineering. However, she takes the most pride in demonstrating values as an authentic leader. While making her way through the various sites in Australia and New Zealand, she ensures that every team member continues to place communities first. Most recently, she was nominated by the vice president of safety and the COO to chair the global steering committee’s response to COVID-19. Wendy’s region was the only one to remain open globally and to date have had no furloughs or redundancies in the business or COVID-19 cases. “We’re proud of this. It shows we’re resilient and manage supply chains well,” she shares.
Both Wendy and Bombardier give back to the community. Outside of the office, Wendy has served as a director of a girls’ school, gives lectures in higher education, and she has done some coaching of junior sports. Within the BT, she has implemented programs to support Australia’s Indigenous communities and has been influential in promoting diversity and inclusion programs, such as apprentice programs, a welding school in Dandenong and a Women’s Professional Network at BT ANZ. The company also signed an MOU with a charity that supports girls and women who are victims of abuse and domestic violence.
President of Australia and New Zealand
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia