Sophie Turner Laing is BSkyB’s managing director of entertainment and news and vice-president of BAFTA. She has been in the television industry for more than 20 years
Sophie Turner Laing is BSkyB’s managing director of entertainment and news and Vice-President of BAFTA. She has been in the television industry for more than 20 years having first launched The Muppets and most recently leading the creation of Sky Atlantic – broadcaster of hit show Boardwalk Empire.
We caught up to talk inspiration and her own experiences of mentoring.
What fired your ambition to start your own business? Co-founding Hit Entertainment was a big change in my life. I had never started a business before, I had no idea about shares and it gave me an amazing insight into running budgets. I was 29 and had just had my first child so it was a scary experience – you’re in control of your destiny yet you’re also kept awake at 3am wondering if you can pay next month's electricity bill!
What’s been a career high? I’ve loved every job I have ever done. I’ve been privileged to work with some amazing people. The media is a people business and it’s collaborative – I find that stimulating.
What’s the best careers advice that you’ve been given? It’s all about volunteering. If you see something that could work for the company, you should always put it forward. It’s very rare that you won’t be given this additional responsibility. You may not have all the answers but the trick is being able to pull a solution together from lots of resources.
What makes a good mentor? It’s key to listen and not try to find the solution for the mentee. It’s important to debate and discuss but they have to be the one to solve it. It’s very much a two-way thing. I find it fascinating learning about different parts of the business – I end up being challenged too!
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