Laura Whitmore on motherhood, Love Island, and how she overcame sexism in her career

Laura Whitmore on motherhood, Love Island, and how she overcame sexism in her career

Laura Whitmore is used to asking the questions. But as a headline speaker for GLAMOUR’s first-ever Empowerment Summit, in partnership with Samsung, Squarespace, and Tinder, she found herself in the unusual position of being interviewed – by none other than GLAMOUR’s European Editorial Director, Deborah Joseph.

As a TV presenter, radio broadcaster, actor, journalist, podcaster and Sunday Times best-selling author (we could go on…), the label ‘multi-hyphenate’ doesn’t quite cover Laura’s vast achievements. And yet, she still finds it weird that people are so invested in her career journey. “I only interview people who are far more interesting than me, so I still feel like I’m an imposter here,” she explains.

But, as the rest of the interview unfolds, it’s clear that nothing could be further from the truth. In a fascinating conversation, Laura reflects on how she got started in the media industry, her first experiences of sexism and paparazzi harassment, motherhood, and why she’s enjoying her post-Love Island career pivot.

Here are all the most empowering moments from Laura Whitmore’s interview at GLAMOUR’s Empowerment Summit 2023:

The big break…

Laura started her career journey at Dublin City University, where she studied journalism. “I come from a small town where sometimes a lot of people don’t necessarily leave,” she says. “And I just wanted to see the world.”

Her first journalism gig was as an intern on Newstalk, a national radio news show, which she describes as “so fucking hard”.

“When you go in as an intern, you’re like the lowest of the low and probably treated much worse than interns are today. But I loved it because it was a learning experience and I’d do a lot of research calls, but working in a newsroom is really hard because news is not necessarily a positive thing or a good thing.”

Laura describes one particular incident where she was nervous about attending an editorial meeting and not having anything to pitch. “There was a really bad car accident on the M50 […] And in my head, I got a bit excited to be like, oh, I have something to talk about.” This thought encouraged her to take a step back. Did she really want to be in such a cutthroat environment?

“That night, I remember going home, and I remember turning on the telly and watching MTV when they were looking for the new face of MTV. I entered it – I didn’t tell Newstalk what was going on.”

Obviously, she won. “My mum always says, if you’re not in it, you can’t win it, mainly about lotto. However, I like to take that and apply it to other parts. And I remember when I won the MTV competition, all my friends were like, what? Also, you’re not cool. Why are you interviewing all these rock stars?”

On her first day at the job, Laura was flown to Los Angeles to work at the MTV Awards. It was a lot. “You learn the most by doing,” she explains. “And that’s something that I’ve constantly. I don’t want to ever be in a situation where I feel like it’s easy.”

Becoming the story…

Laura moved to Camden around the time that “Amy Winehouse was living around the corner and Lily Allen was first coming on the scene.” She found herself interviewing incredible women – including Britney Spears – on a regular basis. As she got more and more jobs, including I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here Now!, her own profile rose dramatically. “Suddenly, I became the story.”

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