Fortescue’s CEO for a Day offers opportunities for recent graduates to dream big

Jul 30, 2020

Fresh from graduating from Fortescue Metals Group’s (Fortescue) Trade Up program, Paul Clowry will step into the shoes of Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines as CEO for a Day for the release of the Company’s June 2020 quarterly production report. 

Now in its sixth year, Fortescue’s CEO for a Day program provides aspiring Aboriginal leaders the opportunity to join the Company’s leadership team to experience how the business operates at the highest levels.

A Murri man from Koori country, Paul began his journey with Fortescue as a contractor over 10 years ago, before applying for the inaugural Trade Up program in 2015. Now a Fixed Plant Electrician at Solomon, Paul will shortly join the team at Eliwana during the operations ramp up, once he completes his final exams.

“Being selected as CEO for a Day is just the latest opportunity offered to me by Fortescue, after supporting me through my apprenticeship. I am proud to be a part of this initiative, which is aligned with my own values of encouraging not just Aboriginal people, but all future apprentices to dream big,” Paul said.

“Making the decision to undertake my apprenticeship as an adult was a commitment that’s provided stability to my family and I was also able to show my children that you are never too old to learn a new skill and commit yourself to a new challenge.

Ms Gaines said, “At Fortescue, we believe training and education are the building blocks to driving sustainable change in people’s lives, careers and communities, particularly to foster a culture that truly supports Aboriginal people. Programs like CEO for a Day support our ambitious team members in their leadership aspirations.

“I first met Paul at our Trade Up graduation, where I heard how he has provided mentoring and guidance to many new electrical apprentices, passing on the knowledge, experience and challenges he has encountered while undertaking his own apprenticeship.”

Paul credits Fortescue’s core values with inspiring him to achieve his goals, particularly the culture of empowerment which led him to sign up to undertake training and secure his future.

“It is a privilege to work for Fortescue and I am proud to be a part of the journey of a company with such a strong culture and values,” he said.

Established in 2015, Fortescue’s Trade Up program provides Aboriginal and female team members (who currently make up more than 25 per cent of participants) with an accredited pathway to an apprenticeship and sustainable career development in collaboration with key contracting partners.