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Shemara Wikramanayake
Stories of inspiration from Smart Girl Stories across the globe. The Rise of Shemara Wikramanayake: CEO And Global Leader

The Rise of Shemara Wikramanayake: CEO And Global Leader

Shemara Wikramanayake is a name that many of us might not be familiar with. But this Australian businesswoman has accomplished so much in her career that she is now considered as one of the top female executives in the world. She is the CEO of Macquarie Group, a leading global provider of banking, financial, advisory, investment, and fund management services. In this blog post, we will delve into her background, her career, and her accomplishments.

Early Years

Growing up in Sri Lanka, Shemara then moved to Australia with her family at fourteen years of age. After completing her education in law and commerce, she started her career as a corporate lawyer in the early 1990s. Her talent and dedication were quickly recognized, and she was offered a job at Macquarie Group in 1997. Since then, Shemara has remained with the company and held a variety of roles before becoming CEO in 2018.


One of Shemara’s most notable achievements was the establishment of Macquarie Asset Management in 2008, which has become one of the largest global asset management businesses. Under her leadership, Macquarie Group has also successfully navigated through challenging economic climates and continues to thrive in today’s world. In 2020, its net profit after tax was AUD 2.7 billion, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 32%.


Aside from her professional success, Shemara is also known to be a prominent advocate of diversity and inclusion. She has shown support for initiatives that promote gender balance in the workplace, such as the Macquarie Pact, which aims to increase the proportion of women in senior leadership positions at the company. She is also a member of Chief Executive Women, an organization that represents Australia’s most senior women in business.

Despite her many achievements, Shemara remains humble and grounded. In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, she said, “I don’t think of myself as being a first or second or a female anything. I think of myself as being a performer in my job like everybody else.” Her passion for her work and her commitment to excellence have certainly paid off, as she has proven to be an inspiration to young women everywhere.

Shemara Wikramanayake’s Legacy

Shemara Wikramanayake’s story is a testament to the idea that anything is possible with hard work and dedication. She has broken barriers and shattered glass ceilings in the business world, serving as an inspiration to the many women aspiring to make their mark in the industry. Shemara is living proof that it’s possible for a person with a clear vision and resolute determination to achieve their dreams. We can all learn a valuable lesson from her story, and I’m sure that the best is yet to come for this remarkable woman.

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