Zainab has a wide range of professional experience working across policy development and implementation, program delivery, community advocacy, leadership, and governance within small, medium and large non-government organisations.

She is a dedicated and passionate senior social worker and community development worker and is currently the Operational Manager at Somali Women's Development Association Inc. (SWDA). This work oversees initiatives aimed at supporting African Australian jobseekers, fostering stakeholder engagement, and implementing transformative programs for migrants, women, young people, elders, and people with disabilities from African backgrounds.

Her work has been grounded in community as an advocate and interface for members of her African community and people with other multicultural backgrounds in providing culturally appropriate health information and messaging in navigating community and health services (particularly during COVID lockdowns).

She is deeply committed to upholding human rights principles in all aspects of her work, believing that every individual deserves dignity, respect, and equal opportunities, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Zainab is also the Director of ZSF (Zainab Sheikh Foundation Ltd.), a charity organisation working in Australia and in Somalia, which actively engages in international development and aid projects in Somalia.