Fiona Tabraham: From Milking Cows in Israel To Chief Executive at CapaCiTi

Long before she was the Chief Executive at CapaCiTi, Fiona Tabraham grew up in Cape Town and was a top performer in Matric. She went off to UCT to study Physiotherapy. However, she was miserable and in a moment of bravery, she dropped out of University to live in a Kibbutz in Israel where she milked cows to earn her keep. The next six years were bliss. She travelled and worked many different jobs in many different countries.


At the age of 26, she ended up in the UK with no qualifications, money or office job experience. Regardless, her love for helping others led her to the right career in recruitment. She started from the bottom and worked her way up through Project Management, Account Management, Team management and finally Senior Leadership roles. She also worked in HR, Talent Development and Change Leadership positions across large Corporates, Public and Private Sector organisations, small start-ups and non-profit organisations.


Why CiTi?

 “Whilst leading a very successful career in the UK, my dad became critically ill. Upon my return to South Africa, his illness caused me to question what was really important to me.  I realised that what I enjoyed most was helping those who had been marginalised. I became committed to finding a role where I could have a real and greater impact, ideally working for a Non-profit organisation focussed on Social Impact.

When I read about CiTi, I wanted to work with them immediately. Their mission of building a future-proof society closely aligns with my passion for developing talent. I also get to work with some amazing people, do lots of exciting things, make a change for the better, support some fantastically talented people, both in my team and through our programmes and influence the work taking place in Youth Unemployment strategy.  I love what I do and I’m very grateful to CiTi for allowing me to do it!”

“I also just have to say that the people I have engaged with has inspired me most during my time at CapaCiTi”


Passionately Developing the Digital Skills of Our Youth

“I feel incredibly strongly that each and every one of us is our own person. We shouldn’t be limited by where we were born, the school we went to, the jobs we had access to or the circumstances we grew up in.  Digital skills level the playing field.  Being confident in using technology will open up your world. And if I can play a small part in offering this to our wonderful young talent then I may just be helping someone change their future. How can you not be passionate about changing someone’s life?  I am just as passionate about solving business challenges that arise from not having the right people, with the right skills and behaviours engaged with your business, as I am about people.”



Being Woman in A Leadership Position

“Women bring empathy and insight to situations, which can be lacking in male-dominated teams.  Sadly, I often see women in powerful positions revert to typically male behaviours as they feel they have to compete at that level. I think our strength is in our female intuition, our ability to listen, our care for others and the inner resolve we often have to draw on in a chaotic world.  A balanced team is a successful one, and diversity is often the key to a high performing organisation.”


A Few Words of Wisdom

“You are your biggest champion. Believe in yourself and what you can achieve.  Don’t let anyone hold you back, including yourself.  Dream your dreams and go get them!”