Female Leader, Laura Emily Dunn, LED Media

Laura Emily Dunn is a remarkable young female entrepreneur and a passionate digital media expert. She started her global Digital Media consulting business LED Media at age 25 (she is now 28). She combines her interests of digital media, female leaders, politics and fashion in a ‘portfolio career’.

Laura has advised and worked in the US House of Representatives, The National Assembly for Wales and UK Parliament. She was named as one of Wales Online’s 35 Under 35 entrepreneurs to watch in 2015, and one of 16 individuals to watch in 2016. Laura was also a double finalist in the inaugural Wales Entrepreneur Awards.

Laura writes a blog called Political Style, curating a unique mix of politics, fashion and culture. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Fortune and Buzzfeed. Laura has even interviewed Julia Gillard.

You started your business LED Media at 25. Why did you choose the path of entrepreneurship?

Working for myself was something that I had been thinking about for a few years, but I had never quite put my plan into action. I had been blogging and working in communications for several years. Colleagues and acquaintances had been regularly asking for my advice and help with social media and how they could be using digital. So, I took the plunge and set up as a consultant, slowly building up my business whilst still working part time.

You have interviewed many female leaders over the last four years. What are some of the memorable life lessons you have applied personally from the women you have interviewed?

The most consistent piece of advice or life lesson that has been a common thread throughout all the interviews is the call to take a risk. I’ve always been taught to say yes to all opportunities and try something that you haven’t before. If you don’t try you will never know, and for many of the individuals I have interviewed, taking risks and stepping outside their comfort zones has really paid off.

Which female leader would you love to interview and why?

I would love to interview Michelle Obama and Theresa May. They are two both incredibly fascinating and strong leaders, both thrust into the spotlight through decisions that weren’t their own. I think Michelle Obama has been one of the most empowering First Ladies that the USA has ever seen. I am really interested to see what her next steps will be now she is leaving the White House. A run in 2020? That would be fantastic!

And in Theresa May, the UK has their second female Prime Minister. What’s fascinating about May is that we don’t know too much about her, but we can see that she is forward thinking and not afraid to break conventions whether that be in politics or her personal style. She certainly makes for an great topic to blog about!

You are a passionate digital marketer. What tips do you have for time-poor female entrepreneurs in digital marketing?

Keeping up with the newest social media trend or digital marketing technique is absolutely time consuming. It can often turn into an overwhelming task for entrepreneurs who are trying to do it all! Pick one social media platform that you are familiar with and know your target audience use, and use it efficiently to get the best results. Whether this is updating your feed with images of new products or creating a short behind the scenes video, do little but do it well. Alternatively, outsourcing to professionals like myself can help!

What’s been your proudest moment?

I was really proud to work in the Houses of Parliament with MPs in 2016 on a pilot digital project to see how they use social media and technology. I advised them of changes they could make to improve the way they communicate with constituents, increase efficiency and encourage digital democracy. Whilst working there Brexit happened. To have a front row seat to immense political and social change was truly eye opening.

What’s been your biggest challenge?

Overcoming nay-sayers and negative energy has probably been my biggest challenge, as has believing in myself when times get tough. Self-confidence and belief, particularly for women, is a big issue and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by self-doubt. At times like these, I remember how far I’ve come and what I want to achieve. I won’t give up!

If there was one piece of advice you wanted to impart on future female leaders, what would it be?

Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to fail. If you don’t try you’ll never know what you can achieve, and how you can change the lives of others.

You can follow Laura on Twitter at @lauraemilyd

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Posted by Jade Collins - Femeconomy Director

Jade Collins has 20 years’ global experience in corporate executive Human Resources and management consulting roles in the Mining, Energy and Aerospace industries, leading large scale, complex multi-million-dollar change management programs. Jade finds the combination of her HR, Psychology and MBA qualifications and her leadership experience is invaluable for increasing gender equality in leadership across industries. Jade was a member of the Queensland Government's Strategic Advisory Group for the Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards Initiative and the 2019 CQU Alumni of the Year for Social Impact for her work with Femeconomy.