Setting stretch targets helps Fortescue’s CEO for a Day achieve her dreams

Oct 29, 2020

The opportunity to complete her apprenticeship has been a lifechanging decision for Fortescue Metals Group’s (Fortescue) latest CEO for a Day Jade Wilson, today stepping into the shoes of Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines for the release of the Company’s September 2020 quarterly production report.

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

A Nyul Nyul Worrora Oomiday woman, Jade was born and raised in Port Hedland and joined the Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) program in 2012 before applying to join the inaugural Fortescue’s Trade Up intake in 2015 to gain her trade qualification. Established in 2015, Trade Up provides Aboriginal and female team members with an accredited pathway to an apprenticeship and sustainable career development in collaboration with key contracting partners.

After finishing her Certificate II traineeship in engineering, Jade progressed to complete her apprenticeship as a mechanical fitter and has now secured a position as a Fixed Plant Mechanic at Fortescue’s Hedland Operations.

“Even though I had no mining experience in 2012 and was a stay-at-home mother at the time, I was provided the opportunity to join Fortescue’s VTEC program in 2012,” Jade said.

“Completing my apprenticeship had its challenges and I am so thankful for all the people around me who encouraged me to never give up over the past eight years. It only takes one person to believe in you to help you succeed, and I hope one day to be able to mentor and empower other young women and provide them with the confidence they need on their journeys.”  

Ms Gaines said, “At Fortescue, we know that training and education are a powerful lever to driving sustainable change in the lives of Aboriginal people, their families and communities. Jade is a wonderful embodiment of the Fortescue values of enthusiasm and courage and determination, and is fast becoming a role model for other Aboriginal and female team members.”

Jade credits Fortescue’s culture of setting stretch targets with helping her achieve her dream of becoming a qualified tradesperson.  

“If I had never set that stretch target in 2012 for myself, I wouldn’t be here today – setting those targets pushes you to reach the unthinkable goals,” she said.