Fortescue Metals Group’s (Fortescue) latest CEO for a Day, Ben Watego believes the Company’s culture of inclusivity and belonging leads to better outcomes for all.
Now in its eighth year, Fortescue’s CEO for a Day program continues to provide aspiring Aboriginal leaders with the opportunity to work alongside Fortescue’s leadership team and learn how the business operates at the highest levels.
Today, Ben joined Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines and members of the leadership team for the release of the Company’s December 2021 quarterly production report.
A proud Yugambeh man, Ben began his Fortescue journey as a contractor at the Christmas Creek mine in 2014. In 2016, he graduated from Fortescue’s Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) program as a Mining Operator, progressing through various roles before stepping up to Coordinator Mine Services at Fortescue’s Eliwana mine.
“From the moment I started at Fortescue, I felt like I belonged. The values which underpin the Company drive our unique and inclusive culture, helping us to grow stronger with each challenge and milestone we achieve,” Ben said.
“The CEO for a Day program is one of the many ways Fortescue helps to lift others up. I am humbled to be selected and grateful for the opportunity to experience firsthand how Fortescue’s leadership team operates as they guide the Company to succeed every day.”
Ben credits Fortescue’s VTEC program as a vital tool in helping Aboriginal people build a long-lasting career in the mining industry and enjoys supporting and nurturing Aboriginal people coming through the program.
“Being involved in Fortescue’s VTEC program as a mentor to enhance the skill set of Aboriginal women and men from traditional owner groups and communities throughout Australia has been a highlight of my career,” Ben said.
“It is a privilege to be in a position to give back to the next generation of Aboriginal people, who come from a wide range of traditional ownership groups, both here in Western Australia where Fortescue operates and throughout other parts of the country.”
Ms Gaines said, “At Fortescue, we are committed to providing training and education pathways for Aboriginal people to help build a pipeline of diverse talent for our operations.
“Fortescue’s CEO for a Day program recognises some of our most promising Aboriginal team members while supporting their leadership aspirations so they can reach their full potential.
“I was delighted to have Ben join me as CEO for a Day. He displays great leadership within Fortescue and is an important role model for his Aboriginal team members.”
Ben holds Fortescue’s core values close to his heart and acts with integrity in everything he does.
“As a leader, it is important to be true to who I am and do what I say I’m going to do. Taking ownership of any shortcomings while demonstrating a commitment to learning and being the best version of myself is something I strive to do every day,” Ben said.