Being a female in the male dominated world of mobile telecoms, today we talk to Louise Mooney one of the leading ladies at the forefront of telecoms logistics about what have been the ups, the downs and the challenges.
Louise started her journey in Telecoms on reception at Commhoist HQ in 2002 and she will tell you herself, the job at first was a means to an end and she didn’t really enjoy just answering the phone. However, this start on reception gave Louise a way in and a great opportunity which she has grabbed with both hands.
Louise freely admits that she wasn’t challenged enough working on reception and she had no intention of it being the long term future. With this in mind and when her work allowed, she would proactively visit other departments within the business and ask to be shown what they were doing and how. Quickly, via this route, Louise gained a strong insight into operations, projects and administration often pointing out areas for improvement. At this time Commhoist only had approximately 15 office staff so Louise started to get noticed by the senior members of the team. Over the next 12 years Louise worked in various roles across the business including Surveys Co-ordinator, Operations Co-ordinator, and Resource Co-ordinator to name a few and excelled in them all.
In 2014 Louise’s persistence and tenacity paid off and recognised by Commhoist Management and she was promoted to Office Manager, this was then followed by a further promotion to General Manager in 2016. During her time at Commhoist Louise has seen many changes across the mobile telecoms industry, from the introduction of new technologies from 3G, 4G and now 5G with the focus on end-to-end management of lifting and logistics and a strong Health & Safety culture.
In 2022 Louise was once again promoted to her current position as Operations Director and has been an instrumental figure in the restructure, transition and transformation that is ongoing within Commhoist as they look to the future.
One of the many achievements Louise prides herself on is the implementation of the company’s first internal intranet system. This allowed the company build a database of vital information on over 35,000 sites and improve service to the customers. This unique database, still a foundation of Commhoist’s business has allowed them build on their reputation of being the best in the business.
So that’s a little Louise’s career history at Commhoist to date, but what about the woman behind the 24/7 Operations Director. Let’s talk Louise, not so much about Commhoist but what really makes her tick, her thoughts on the industry and what she wants to achieve in the coming months and years.
It’s a rather gloomy Thursday afternoon when Louise joins me for a chat. Louise is late and apologises but a member of the Field Team had popped into her office to speak with her. This is a testament to Louise’s open-door policy when it comes to management. We start to talk about Louise’s career and time at Commhoist, you can tell she feels slightly uneasy about this level of self-examination and appreciation, so we start chatting about the industry and how it’s changed over the last 20 years.
As a member of a very small group of females on the Board of Directors at telecoms companies, Louise knows she is definitely in a minority. We speak about being female in the mobile telecoms world, Louise says she has seen great improvement over the last 20+ years, but there is a lot of work to be done. Coupled to this with Commhoist having one foot in Mobile Comms and the other in a male dominated sector of Lifting and Logistics the challenge is somewhat doubled. The perception is changing generationally, however at time of going to press 99% of the women who work within Commhoist work in office roles and not on site. Louise is well aware of this and says she is looking to develop a scheme so staff can learn more about the actual technicalities of lifting services, surveys and operating equipment, and would like to see a job swaps for a day for staff within Commhoist in the not to distance future.
“Gender parity is not even close at any level in the industry. For example, a 2020 GLF survey found that in 70% of telco organisations fewer than 30% of technical roles are held by women. Only one telco board (Vodafone) has more than 40% female directors. As for the next generation, The European Commission’s report Women in Digital found that only one in three STEM graduates is a woman.” Women in telco (spencerstuart.com)
When asked about her biggest skill, Louise is quick to say diplomacy. Whether this be in the office, with Field Staff or in meetings with clients and suppliers. Managing and nurturing these relationships with internal and external stakeholders is something Louise sees as extremely important.
So, what does she want to achieve this year? Commhoist is moving through a significant period of change and Louise sees this an extremely exciting time for the company. She stresses and is keen to ensure that all members of the team to feel included, valued and given opportunities to progress as the company progresses. Very much like her own journey, where she was given the space to progress and take steps within her career, Louise now wants to offer these same opportunities for others.
When we talk about goals for the year, Louise talks passionately about making sure that should anything happen to her someone else can step up and steer the ship. Focusing on processes, guides and supporting materials to help others moving forward and offering the chance of career progression. This will not only helps others within the business but take some of the load off Louise’s shoulders by ensuring that information in hers and her teams heads is accessible for all to see.
As we come to the end of our chat, we ask Louise what she thinks will be the future of telecoms and she instantly reacts with Automation. Automation, Louise says, can be a scary word for our teams to hear, but Louise sees it as an opportunity which can create more time for her teams to improve, develop and work on additional activities and relationships with clients.
This was a small insight into the busy world of Commhoist’s Operations Director, Louise Mooney, and her journey from reception twenty years ago to sitting on the board of telecom’s logistics company today.
It’s a busy world that Louise operates in, and that’s the way she likes it, but what we really want to know is what does an extremely busy Operations Director do to relax? Louise grabs her coat, puts on her wellies, and takes her lovely dog out for a walk after work each night. It’s her time to disconnect and switch off before the whirlwind of operations and comms starts again the next day.