Some people set their sights on the tower industry at a young age, but in the case of Leticia Latino, the industry seems to have set its sights on her. Although her father founded South American telecom services giant Neptuno, Latino told him she wanted to build her own career instead of joining his company. She found success in the world of finance, but wasn’t able to stay away from wireless for long.
Latino, now CEO of Neptuno USA, explains how the telecommunications industry won her back in the first installment of AGL’s newest video series, AGL Presents: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The series is hosted by Lynn Whitcher, General Counsel at MD7, one of the industry’s most articulate voices on issues of equity and inclusion.
Whitcher and Latino dive into the issue of certification for woman-owned businesses, and Latino explains when certification does and doesn’t make sense, in her opinion. She also points out that certification is just the first step for women and minority-owned businesses, noting that a sports team’s diversity recruitment would not be considered a success if the diverse players were benched during all games. Likewise, telecom companies need to give small businesses, woman-owned companies, and minority-owned firms a chance to show what they can do, Latino said.
Neptuno USA supplied towers in the US for an Ericsson Center of Excellence where technicians train for 5G deployments. Latino said this experience helped her get appointed to the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, where she chaired the Workforce Development Working Team. The team’s report was approved and is available on the FCC website.
“The main takeaway is that high wage jobs are available in our industry,” Latino said, adding that it is crucial to bring more people into the industry to train for these jobs and deploy the networks of the future. “Unless we bring workers into our workforce we are not going to achieve the goal,” she said.