A passion for inspiring other women drives Fortescue’s latest CEO for a Day

Oct 28, 2021

The opportunity to learn how to influence and inspire other women is the driving force behind Fortescue Metals Group’s (Fortescue) latest CEO for a Day Shakira Levi, who takes the helm for the day for the release of the Company’s September 2021 Quarterly Production Report.

In its seventh year, Fortescue’s CEO for a Day program provides aspiring Aboriginal leaders with the opportunity to step up and learn how the business operates at the highest levels.

Raised on Kiriri (Hammond Island) in the Torres Strait, Shakira is a proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander with connections to the Kaurareg and Daurareb people. She first started at Fortescue as a site administrator in 2012, re-joining as a Trade Assistant in 2019 and has recently been seconded to Hedland Operations as a Condition Monitor in the engineering department.

From her first job as a sole trader selling tropical rock lobster at the age of 16, Shakira’s career journey has seen her take on roles in several sectors including hospitality, legal, defence and local government.

Fortescue’s Value of ‘courage and determination’ resonates strongly with Shakira, whose passion for education is reflected in her early years when she was up at 4.30am every morning to catch the ferry to a neighbouring island and then walk the remainder of the journey to attend school.

Shakira said, “To be selected as CEO for a Day means a lot to me. It is testimony to my life’s journey and the hard work and sacrifices I have made along the way to overcome challenges to be the best that I can be.

“I set high standards and expectations for myself so that I can be a role model to drive positive change and better outcomes for my people, and to demonstrate to others that anything is possible with the right attitude, courage and determination.

“Through this experience, I hope to be empowered and inspired by observing and learning from powerful women in leadership who contribute significantly to society and to develop my own leadership qualities that will help me to determine my own career pathway.” 

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said, “Cultivating the next generation of Aboriginal leaders is critical to ensuring we have a culture that truly supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and we are delighted to provide programs that support team members in their leadership aspirations.

“Shakira embodies the very best of our Values through her enthusiasm and can-do attitude to be the very best she can be and her commitment to constantly upskilling through training and development,” Ms Gaines said.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines with CEO for a Day, Shakira Levi