Becoming a member of host Carrie Charles on at present’s episode of 5G Expertise Discuss is Leticia Latino Van-Splunteren, CEO of Neptuno USA. Collectively, they discover the best way 5G know-how is remodeling the telecom trade and talk about the challenges and alternatives for constructing a proficient and numerous workforce on this quickly evolving discipline.
On this episode, you’ll study the important thing abilities and information which are in excessive demand for 5G jobs, the function of lifelong studying in constructing a profitable profession in telecom, and the significance of mentorship and collaboration for advancing range and inclusion within the office. On this episode, Leticia shares her insights on how firms can entice and retain prime expertise in a extremely aggressive market, and why embracing innovation is crucial for staying forward within the fast-paced world of 5G.
Whether or not you’re a seasoned skilled or simply beginning out within the trade, tune in to 5G Expertise Discuss and acquire worthwhile insights and inspiration for remodeling your profession and your group within the new world of labor.
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Reworking the Way forward for the Telecom Workforce with Leticia Latino-Van Splunteren
I’m very excited to deliver to you this wonderful visitor. She is a good friend of mine. She’s a frontrunner in our trade. Her title is Leticia Latino Van-Splunteren. Leticia has over 25 years of expertise within the telecom trade. She’s additionally the CEO of Neptuno USA, which we’re going to study. First, I wish to let you know about her awards and her recognitions.
Leticia is a recipient of the Ladies in IoT award by Related Journal, Revolutionary CEOs by Aspioneer, and one of many 30 Most Influential Leaders in Tech by Perception Success. She chaired for 2 years the Job Abilities and Coaching Working Group of the FCC Broadband Advisory Improvement Committee. She serves as a full member of the FCC Fairness and Variety Innovation and Entry Working Group.
She was additionally instantly appointed by the FCC to the Telecommunications Interagency Working Group, which was charged with presenting to Congress a suggestions report on the state of the US Telecom Workforce. Along with all of this, Leticia is an Amazon bestselling writer. She’s a global speaker. She’s a tremendous mentor to younger ladies and a giant advocate of nurturing Human Connections by her Back2Basics Podcast. Leticia, it’s so superior to have you ever on the present. I’ve been ready for this for thus lengthy.
Thanks. In the event you may see me, I’m blushing. I’m like, “Who’s that individual that she’s ringing about? That can’t be me.” Thanks for having me.
Many individuals respect you in our trade. You’ve carried out a lot for us. I wish to learn about your journey and the way you bought to this function that you just’re in.
I can let you know one factor. I bought to the place I’m with out planning an excessive amount of, taking in the future at a time, and following my instinct from a really younger age. I used to be born into telecom as a result of my father had a telecommunications firm. He’s a tower producer. He immigrated from Italy to Venezuela. From very early on, I used to be enjoying round with building supplies over on the aspect.
One factor that I’ve very clear is I don’t wish to go work for the household enterprise. From very early on, I wish to make my very own path and I wish to be recognized for my very own benefit. After I began my profession, I rejected the concept to affix telecommunications. After I did my Grasp’s, I went to work for Merrill Lynch and began a really completely different profession path.
It didn’t take me lengthy to acknowledge that this isn’t for me. I’m not liking this an excessive amount of. I used to be attuned to what made me tick, my podcast at the moment. Historical past has it that Nortel Networks supplied me a job in telecommunications, which I’m proof against for thus lengthy. That’s how I began my telecom profession. It has been wonderful. It’s a tremendous trade to be in.
Inform us the story about Neptuno USA, who you serve, what you do, and the market.
It’s an fascinating angle as a result of my father based our firm. I used to be born and raised in Venezuela, though each my mother and father are Italian. It’s an amazing nation. I like my nation dearly. Sadly, we encountered severe political points again in ’98. We’ve got lived 22 years of COVID-like situations when folks complain about having to handle an organization in very dangerous situations.
Anyone that has an organization in Venezuela has needed to cope with troublesome conditions to the purpose the place we nearly misplaced all the things in our manufacturing facility, 50 years of labor. After I determined to depart Nortel, I lived by the demise of going from 120,000 folks firm, a frontrunner within the trade, to going stomach up. That complete strategy of Company America taught me rather a lot by way of how you can not put all of your eggs into what an organization that you just work for is.
It’s a must to be your self. It’s a must to model your self. After I discuss it with folks, and so they say we as the corporate, that’s a superb factor that you just really feel a part of the group. Lots of people connect their very own worth to the corporate moderately than to themselves. Again in 2002, I instructed my dad, “We’ve got to have a plan B as a result of our worldwide prospects had been involved that we had been a Venezuelan-based firm.”
Be your self. Model your self.
That’s how we determined to open Neptuno USA in Florida largely as a help to the area. We’re very robust. We’ve got equipped over 10,000 towers that now we have engineered, manufactured, and put in in South America largely at the moment. After we began in 2002, the concept was all the time to help Latin America from Miami.
As we saved going and as I bought extra concerned within the US, we determined possibly we may also help the USA, too. We began studying extra concerning the market. It wasn’t till 2015 that we mentioned, “Let’s be a participant, even when we don’t manufacture towers right here in the USA.” It’s a tougher product to promote. I developed a complete new array of merchandise by way of digital twins.
We’re credited with being one of many first firms that created the lighter base level cloud of towers. Now, they’re within the mainstream after a few years. We’ve been at it for a very long time, utilizing synthetic intelligence to create tower mapping and antenna mounts. We’re leveraging the engineering now we have to deliver higher merchandise, asset monitoring software program, and all of the operational features of the enterprise.
You’ve been within the trade for a very long time, over 25 years. What greatest challenges do you see firms are going through proper now?
To me, in telecommunications, what I’ve all the time noticed is that we’re a really technologically superior trade on the entrance finish. We promote all people 5G and 6G, and we wish to go so quick. The operational side of issues, we’re extraordinarily old school. There’s an enormous resistance to vary on the operations of issues.
That is what expands and augments even the workforce challenge, as a result of then now we have our staff doing a variety of stuff manually. We’ve got an asset monitoring software program that we’ve been selling for a very long time. You supply this and also you present potential prospects how they’re going to save cash. My guys are by no means going to make use of this.
I’ve all the time mentioned that our greatest competitor isn’t one other product. It’s an motion. It’s when you’ve gotten managers that don’t wish to disrupt, however the trade is being disrupted by know-how. I see that as an enormous drawback as a result of it’s creating systemic issues that aren’t simply solvable until you’ve gotten leaders which are prepared to embrace change on all fronts.
We’re going through a workforce disaster with not having sufficient folks. What you talked about with the leaders which are proof against that technological change, all of that could be a recipe for a giant disaster that we’re going through if we’re not already feeling it now. You sit on many committees and also you’ve been instantly concerned in offering options to a few of these issues. What do you see as a technique or an concept that might assist us to create a stronger workforce as we transfer ahead?
Become involved in committees. Folks assume it’s a waste of time. It’s a possibility to have your thought management and expertise and filter into what selections are being made at a better degree. There’s been a giant push in creating pathways. We will all agree that the telecom workforce doesn’t have a transparent path. If I be a part of the workforce, what can I be or develop to? It’s not a one-sided factor. You might have associations like WIA and NATE. Business associations engaged on placing a curriculum collectively and apprenticeship tracks. That gives whoever joins us with a transparent path into, “That is what you possibly can evolve to,” and also you don’t get caught.
Some folks get afraid like, “Know-how adjustments. Am I going to have a job in a number of years?” Know-how has been altering. My dad joined this trade a number of years in the past, and he’s advanced with it. Until you create pathways for folks to evolve in an organized means, it’s going to be very challenged. The excellent news is all people has recognized the large challenge. There are a variety of tracks proper now that didn’t exist a number of years in the past which are very clear pathways to changing into a telecommunication skilled.
I’ve a query concerning the aggressive nature we’re coping with when children come out of highschool or faculty, and so they’re telecom as an possibility versus different industries. There are another areas that pay extra, and also you don’t must be exterior within the freezing chilly or climbing a tower. What are the challenges that we’re going through round how a lot we will pay these folks to get extra expertise within the trade? I can really feel and listen to everybody brainstorming on how can we get extra coaching and folks into this trade?” As soon as they’re right here, we’re now providing them the pay. That’s very difficult for some firms to have the ability to sustain and pay sufficient to draw and retain good expertise.
It’s an amazing level as a result of now we have been seeing these jobs as you get the folks in that job and you permit them there. There’s no plan. Folks then begin leaping ships for an additional $1 from one firm to a different firm. That’s why apprenticeship has been confirmed to create loyalty, as a result of whoever will get on that observe says, “I can see this individual transitioning right into a management function.”
You don’t go away them as tower technicians or fiber technicians. It’s a must to transition them. We’re going to have higher firms and industries if we acknowledge that. If you realize what’s taking place within the discipline, you will be a greater operation altogether. What I see proper now could be an entire disconnect between workplace work and fieldwork.
You might have folks within the workplace making calls for, “That is taking too lengthy,” as a result of they’ve by no means been in a building web site or a web site. After they go there and so they see the vans of apparatus our technicians normally have to dump and climb the tower. In the event you put in perspective what must occur, persons are simply sufficient. The extra you include that transition, this can be a stepping stone into getting right into a management function or an workplace function. That occurs for some firms, however most should not tackling it like that. They wish to have that useful resource ceaselessly in that place. It can not work like that.
I wish to speak a bit about your organization tradition as a result of as you mentioned, you’ve gotten the operations aspect, the workplace, and then you definately even have the folks within the discipline. How do you design a profitable firm’s tradition with all of these completely different folks doing various things?
I’m precisely dwelling that proper now as a result of we go internationally. We’ve got an organization with many crews. A variety of them are within the third technology. The grandparents began with my dad. The tradition may be very robust the place the proprietor of the corporate was alongside them dwelling. You can’t impose tradition. You can’t simply write a mission assertion that sounds lovely, however then day-to-day, you reside one thing utterly completely different.
That’s how you determine it. Now, I’m on that problem as a result of I’ve my first cruise within the US. Not too way back, I used to be onsite with them. We went to lunch. They had been saying they work for different firms and say, “No CEO has ever sat with us over lunch.” That’s the way you get actual with the challenges. Whenever you sit with them, you make them snug, you’re one of many staff, and also you begin getting suggestions from the sphere.
That creates tradition. It’s setting an instance. When phrases are completely different from actions, it’s very detrimental to the corporate tradition, as a result of then no person believes it after they hear it. I see so many firms that brag about being one factor, and folks behind the again say, “Oh, please.” Everyone is aware of. It’s like having a dishonest husband or spouse, and so they painting to be excellent, and all people is aware of what’s going round. That’s one thing essential to be in keeping with no matter tradition you wish to set in.
It’s clear that you just lead by instance and you’re such a passionate chief. I’ve heard a lot about your management fashion. Inform me in your personal phrases. What makes a unprecedented chief?
I imagine in any individual that desires to make the world a greater place. it sounds tacky, however utilizing our firms and our enterprise for the larger good is a chance that leaders have. If you find yourself involved about revenue and the way you advance your personal self into no matter your targets are, even in case you have the title and the CEO and folks say you’re a frontrunner, you’re falling quick. We’ve got to dream massive as leaders. Be passionate. Be empathetic. Put your self in different folks’s sneakers. Be constant into what you’ve gotten. I do imagine that it’s a must to be passionate and have your function very clear to have the ability to showcase management.
Leticia, you’re a function mannequin for ladies, not simply in our trade, however in all places. There have been a lot dialog round bringing extra ladies into the telecom trade. How will we do it? How will we deliver ladies in? How will we maintain ladies and advance ladies? What are your ideas?
I imagine that now we have to start out by breaking gender bias. To me, it’s all about gender bias. You go into some nations, Latin America. You all the time hear the mother and father saying to the boy, “You’re going to be the engineer. The lady goes to be the nurse.” That’s gender bias. Proper there, you’re placing a label into that little lady’s thoughts that she can’t be the engineer of the household.
We’ve got to interrupt that and current all people. I’m not a feminist. I’m an equalitarian. Folks see me pushing ladies’s causes, and I say, “I push the equality. Everyone ought to have equal alternative.” That’s how now we have to current it to the younger folks, as a result of once we do this, then the ladies’ minds open up and say, “This is a chance for me.”
Everyone ought to have equal alternative. That’s how now we have to current it to the younger folks, as a result of once we do this, then the ladies’ minds open up and say, “This is a chance for me.”
This is the reason we live in such thrilling instances. The Chairwoman of the FCC for the primary time in over 80 years is a girl. That’s already one thing that I do know youthful ladies can look as much as and say, “This may be me.” We will put a face to the title. We’ve got to be lively in mentoring and inspiring younger ladies. I’m a giant proponent of doing profession days in school. I all the time go and speak at my children’ college about telecom. Individuals are, “What? It’s not a lawyer.” The standard jobs which are coming right here, and now, they’re presenting me with a tower. The Vertical Freedom film is what I confirmed final time. it’s wonderful to see the response on all people’s faces, girls and boys.
We must be doing extra of that. I actually imagine that our answer begins when our kids are younger, in center college and highschool. What challenges have you ever confronted as a girl entrepreneur, and likewise on this trade? Are there any challenges that you just’ve confronted over your profession and the way have you ever overcome them?
In 25 years, I confronted many. I all the time joke round within the good sense of the world that I’m going to put in writing a e book referred to as Issues I’ve carried out for a PO. I wish to invite all salespeople to affix in. You possibly can assume a technique, nevertheless it’s about different issues like wedding ceremony clothes being flown from one nation to the opposite. The most important problem is it goes together with being taken severely. As a girl and youthful, once I began, I discovered myself that I had excellent relationships. Folks usually preferred me. I don’t have any massive grudges with anyone. To translate that into a possibility to beat and contract work has been an enormous problem, particularly in the USA.
It has been like how do you translate a superb relationship and the truth that folks take a gathering with you and so they like your organization to, “Now, I’m going to offer you an opportunity to point out what you are able to do?” That has been a giant one and is what each lady has a problem with. I don’t wish to be invited to the desk as a result of I’m a girl. I wish to be invited as a result of I’m good at what I do, and my perspective can deliver worth.
Equality isn’t being invited to the desk since you’re a girl. It’s being invited since you’re good at what you do, and your perspective can deliver worth.
Even now, you get supplied alternatives. It’s difficult to say no, as a result of for the primary time, they’re listening to about this. It’s like, “I wish to be a part of,” however then it’s a must to be strategic into, “Why am I being invited? What’s the final word function of this?” I might say that. Additionally, being a small numerous enterprise in the USA is difficult as a result of lots of people are on board with range.
That’s the primary layer whenever you go into digging deeper into what a smaller firm has to offer to do work with the large guys in telecom. It’s nearly unattainable whenever you get offered on MSA. That is one thing I’m very captivated with. Additionally, on the fairness and variety committee, we must be conscious what we’re asking from small contractors. If we don’t change the best way that is carried out, we’re by no means going to succeed in the objective of be being extra inclusive in our trade.
What recommendation would you give to a teenager beginning out in our trade?
I might say, don’t fear an excessive amount of with checking the containers and ticking, “I’ve this. I’ve that.” Everyone is on such a rush to finish a path that has been established for them. Look how are you going to be completely different. What’s your superpower? What’s that factor that you just’re good at? Construct your abilities round it. I’m all the time shocked how folks don’t take note of languages, for example.
Don’t fear an excessive amount of about checking the containers and ticking, “I’ve this, I’ve that.” Everyone is in such a rush to finish a path that has been established for them.
I’m a giant proponent. The extra languages you communicate, you’re going to be in some assembly the place you will be completely different simply because you possibly can communicate their language. There are abilities which are typically neglected that can make you completely different. In the event you’re younger and beginning, don’t attempt to comply with linear path. Attempt to be extra strategic about what you deliver to the desk. How are you going to be completely different in an interview and in your surroundings? In the event you’re the identical as all people else, how am I going to note you? I wish to see variations. I don’t wish to see similarities.
That echoes what you mentioned earlier about private branding, which is so necessary that you just model your self personally together with branding your organization and who you signify. Each are equally as necessary. You’ve carried out that fantastically. Alongside that very same line, what’s subsequent for you? Let’s have a look at the longer term. What’s subsequent for Neptuno? What’s subsequent for Leticia?
I get requested that rather a lot. I’m very excited as a result of we’re getting into a second in historical past. It’s very completely different. All the pieces is transitioning. We’ve been disrupted. The ESG, Atmosphere, Social, and Governance, element of issues is now very predominant. Corporations that don’t embrace, adapt, and implement ESG standards are going to battle very a lot.
Being the dreamer that I’m, when you learn the 17 Sustainable Improvement Targets which are a part of that macro blueprint, that is nice as a result of gender equality is simply quantity 5. It’s 1 out of 17. Folks assume it’s all about gender equality. No, that’s a part of an even bigger agenda. I’m massive embracer of that. Personally, I’m changing into an skilled as a lot as I can on ESG issues.
Additionally, making the corporate sustainable by design. This isn’t one thing I mentioned. It’s one thing a pricey good friend says of her firm. I like her. I’m nonetheless in that. It’s nice. I’m beginning to create the providing of Neptuno much more intentional about ESG. Not solely the environmental half, however the social governance half. How we give higher choices to our staff is large.
Workforce is correct there on that ESG element even when folks assume it’s solely concerning the surroundings. No, it’s about ensuring your crews are completely happy. I’m rejecting work all around the United States as a result of my crews are Florida-based. I need them to be near their household. That’s what brings them a greater high quality of life, which is among the sustainable targets. After we design how we function round that, we’re going to finish up in a greater place, not solely as an organization and as a nation, however as a world.
Each time I speak to you, Leticia, I simply get so impressed. I wager your podcast is unbelievable. I wished to inform the viewers the place they will discover your podcast. It’s referred to as Back2Basics. Can we discover it anyplace, in all places?
It streams in all places. It’s Back2Basics: Reconnecting to the essence of YOU. You may as well verify my webpage, www.LeticiaLatino.com. There’s each side of myself. That’s one thing I did a number of years again when folks mentioned, “They consider you as towers solely.” I’m like, “I’m greater than towers. I’m not solely towers.” I made a decision to create that webpage the place all features of myself are there.
I wish to chime in that the podcast is one thing that I knew in my company life, I used to be lacking one thing. I like my job, however I felt that I wished to do extra, so I created a podcast. I don’t monetize the podcast in any respect, nevertheless it has given me a possibility to talk with probably the most unbelievable folks. You might have an open invitation. I’ve mentioned this earlier than. We’re over 200 episodes, and three years on the air. If there’s something on the market that you’re impressed to do, as a result of you’ve gotten a company job doesn’t imply that you just can not pursue it. I’m a giant proponent of that. Discover what makes you tick in addition to what you’re doing proper now and make it occur.
If there’s something on the market that you’re impressed to do, not as a result of you’ve gotten a company job, it signifies that you can not pursue it. Discover what makes you tick in addition to what you’re doing proper now and make it occur.
Leticia, this has been great. Thanks a lot for having this dialog. I can’t wait to see you once more. Thanks.
About Leticia Latino Van-Splunteren
With over 25 years of expertise within the Telecom Business Leticia Latino van-Splunteren went from working for Merrill Lynch and Telecom Large Nortel Networks to accepting the problem of extending the legacy of creating her household enterprise within the US again in 2002. Neptuno Group was initially based by her father in 1972 in South America the place they helped deploy a few of the first Mobile Networks within the area and the place they’ve constructed over 10,000 Towers.
Amongst many different recognitions, Leticia is a recipient of the Ladies in IoT award by Related Journal, Revolutionary CEO’s by Aspioneer and one of many 30 most influential Leaders in Tech by Perception Success. She chaired for 2 years, the Jobs Abilities and Coaching Working Group of the FCC Broadband Advisory Improvement Committee and presently serves as a full member of the FCC Fairness and Variety Innovation and Entry Working Group. She was additionally instantly appointed by FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel to the Telecommunications Interagency Working Group which was charged, as per the Infrastructure Funding Jobs Act, to current to US Congress with a suggestions report on the state of the US Telecom Workforce.
As well as, Leticia is an Amazon Bestseller writer, Worldwide speaker, mentor to younger ladies and a giant advocate of nurturing “Human Connections” by her Back2Basics Podcast.