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Q&A with Laini Bennett

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Laini Bennett , Head of Content @LegalVision

How could you describe your career path in few words ? I began my career as a journalist, working as a feature writer for high-profile magazines in Australia. A pivotal moment was when I joined legal publisher Wolters Kluwer as an editor. During this period, my husband was studying for an MBA and it made me realise that I, too, wanted to move into management. Highly motivated, I was soon promoted to Editor in Chief, responsible for a portfolio worth millions of dollars. Every chance I had, I put my hand up for new projects and business opportunities, including integrating and transforming acquired businesses and driving marketing campaigns. It was during the digital revolution, and the publishing industry was undergoing tremendous change, which was both challenging and exciting. This experience opened the door for me to executive roles in other companies, including as Executive Director of Content Solutions for LexisNexis (RELX). At this point, I decided it was my turn to undertake an MBA. After graduating with awards for outstanding academic performance, I pivoted out of legal publishing and into the law firm LegalVision where I am Head of Content for Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Our websites generate over 3.5 million visitors a year, and these, along with our free publications and webinars, drive 80% of our leads. When I’m not working at LegalVision, I’m interviewing inspiring women for my Women in Leadership blog, Birds of a Feather, at I’ve interviewed some exceptional female leaders, such as HSBC Personal Banking CEO Annabel Spring and OzHarvest CEO Ronni Kahn. They share their leadership journey and lessons learned to help inspire other women to pursue their life goals.

What was your most challenging experience, and how has it changed your mindset?

I’ve had some very challenging experiences at work over the years, including sexual harassment, bullying and dealing with the fallout of (other people’s) unlawful behaviour. But I think my biggest challenge was having both of my parents suffer from terrible illnesses. When I was 18, ready to embark on adulthood, I learned my beloved mother had early-onset Alzheimers. Over the next nine years, I helped my father care for her while also trying to establish my then-career as a journalist, which was stressful and often heartbreaking. I was fortunate to meet my husband during this period; he was an incredible support. Sadly, I was six months pregnant with my first child when I received a call at work that she had died.

Later, when my children were teenagers, my father was sick with Parkinson's Disease. By then, I was in an executive role and under enormous pressure to deliver results. Eventually, I moved to study for my MBA full-time while working part-time in a low-pressure role so I could care for him.

These experiences emphasised to me how short life is, how essential good health is, and that you should put your health and those you care about before any job.

Based on your experience, what’s the key success factor for a female leader/manager?

When interviewing outstanding female leaders, I ask them to share their top leadership lessons. I regard these lessons as critical success factors for female leaders. Here are the lessons, based on my own experience, that I believe are essential: 1. Find mentors who will support your goals.

Having a mentor who will help you identify and build on your strengths is invaluable. They can also help determine the types of roles that will play to your skill set.

2. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and take calculated risks.

Have the confidence to pursue new opportunities and roles. Don’t wait until you can tick off every skill required for the position.

3. Learn to ask questions, be a good listener and authentic communicator.

Good leaders must communicate well, so their teams understand and support their vision. Tailor your message to suit your audience to ensure engagement and buy-in.

6. Surround yourself with people who are better than you at your job.

You can’t be an expert at everything. Leverage the skills of others. When they do well, you will look good, too.

7. Stay positive in the face of seemingly impossible challenges.

When bad things happen, try to identify the positive lessons and outcomes rather than focusing on the negative.

8. Be true to yourself and your definition of success.

Believe in yourself, be authentic, and don’t try to fit into someone else’s mould.

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