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Posted: Wednesday 5 January, 2022 at 2:22 PM

‘Pat’ Walters - The Golden Woman in the Telecommunications Industry

By: Rawle Nelson, Press Release

    Patricia Walters created history when she had taken over the reins of Cable and Wireless (C&W) in St. Kitts and Nevis several years ago.


    ‘Pat’, as she is affectionately called, was the first female Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the traditionally male-dominated telecommunications ‘giant’ in St. Kitts and Nevis; as well as the first female to be elevated to that position in the private sector of the twin-island Federation.


    She is gifted with foresight and insight and had maximised those abilities in tandem with her considerable marketing, communication and management skills to put C&W on firm footing for future competition with a new entrant to the Caribbean, Digicel.
    Now, don’t be fooled by her easy-going mannerism supported with that perpetual, infectious smile and winsome personality, for behind those qualities is a fierce competitor who relishes challenges.


    She had already begun creating heat waves following her history-making appointment when C&W’s rival, Digicel, officially began competing for a stake in the country’s lucrative communications’ pie.


    With her brand, there was an ‘open door’ policy: she embraced regular interviews and ensured that the local media houses were kept abreast with issues concerning the company. 


    There were also community outreach programmes. 


    C&W sponsored a number of projects and programmes that enhanced human capacity-building; burnished participants’ personalities; strengthened community relationships and forged holistic development while simultaneously enhancing the pool of skills and talents available in participating communities.


    “Patricia Walters was one who you could have easily stopped and engage with. She ensured she visited several of their offices to observe the chemistry between staff members and customers. Those who did not know her would have assumed that she was a regular employee who just enjoyed her job as she operated very simple, immediately drawing love, admiration and attention from those looking on,” a Cable and Wireless (now Flow following a merger) customer recalled. 


    Another one remembered: “What impressed me and continued to do so over the years is that she was always reaching out to everyone and ventured into supporting organisations and institutions while they [C&W]- were making profits. She never shied away from giving back, and that is why many organisations and institutions should credit their success for the way this woman managed the company.”
    The rivalry from Digicel motivated ‘Pat’ to intoduce some novel ideas. Many still recall the ‘Double Bubble Top Up’, a major hit with C&W customers and the rest of the nation. Under that promotion, customers received twice the amount of credit they wold have put in their mobile phones.
    Massive crowds had snaked areas where the ‘Top Up’ was available.
    “I was one of the many who enjoyed ‘Double Bubble’ so much that I topped up my phone with a certain amount so that I can wait patiently until it returned. At that time, I was studying and couldn’t really afford to top up my phone regularly, so the ‘Double Bubble’ created opportunities for me to prudently spend my money while maximising the benefits I got from the phone top up,” Michael reminisced.
    ‘Double Bubble’ and other innovative initiatives greatly assisted in eliminating the ill-wills that some individuals had against C&W at that time, and also their plans to flee from the telecommunications firm, 


    Michael also said that it was a masterstroke by C&W’s decision-makers to employ a woman as CEO, and one with such substantial business acumen in combination with considerable managerial shrewdness.
    Michael, like many others, was also of the view that “Patricia Walters had, saved C&W as a company”.


    Pat’s subordinates had unanimously baptised her a trend-setter: one who leds from the front and single-handedly revolutionised workers’ world views. One of them opined, “Her impeccable track record of being service-driven has aided her in accomplishing many firsts and even embracing unchartered territories.”
    Her gilded footprints are left indelibly in London, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Trinidad and Tobago, earning her the fond soubriquet, ‘The Golden Woman’.
    Digicel came on stream in the Federation with Donovan White, and despite his aggressive marketing ploy while as Marketing Manager of Anguilla and Antigua then as St. Kitts-Nevis Country Manager, his effors to upend The Golden Woman’s influence fizzled into debased metal in the presence of her glistening, unalloyed campaign strategies.
    In 2007, White was replaced by Richard Staunton as Country Manager and, in the following year, he too was replaced by Sean Latty who held that position until 2012. Prior to that, he had  served as Country Manager in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.


    Under Latty’s leadership, Digicel had snapped up a 41 percent market share in the Federation. 


    However, it was said in some quarters that Digicel’s 41 percent market share in 2008 was  due to Pat’s promotion in C&W to another Caribbean territory. 


    Dubbed a highly transformational leader with over a quarter of a century international experience, the qualified accountant started her career in Finance in the Retail and Shipping Industry before moving into the telecommunications business at C&W in the United Kingdom, where she held positions as Financial Controller and Director.


    She was also Company Secretary at  C&W (Cayman Islands); Financial Controller, C&W (St. Kitts and Nevis) Ltd.; Chief Financial Officer at the Telecommunications Services  of Trinidad and Tobago  (TSTT); and Chief Executive Officer of C&W (St. Kitts and Nevis) Ltd.


    Pat was also Regional Executive Vice President, C&W, West Indies Ltd., and Senior Vice President of Bahamas The Telecommunications Company Ltd. 


    Patricia ‘Pat’ Walters - The Golden Woman - has since taken her excellent managerial skills and remarkable acumen in business matters to The Cable (St. Kitts), where she holds the position of CEO. 


    Before taking up that position, The Cable, a major telecommunications company in the Federation, was very dormant and had lost a substantial amount of market shares. 


    Pat was however able to elevate the company's brand and position it as a market leader and the dominant provider of TV and Internet services in the St. Kitts and Nevis within a two to three-year period of her tenure.  


    Over the years, from London to St. Kitts and Nevis as well as other territories in the Caribbean, Pat has made a name for herself, and it would be remiss of this writer not to mention that she has left indelible footprints upon the sands of time.


    Editor’s Note:
    This article was edited by




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