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In an exclusive interview with Telecom Review, PLAYBOOK CEO, Wafa Al Obaidat, unveiled how PLAYBOOK is reshaping the global economic scene by challenging norms surrounding gender disparities.

How is PLAYBOOK redefining the rules surrounding the gender economic divide around the world?

PLAYBOOK is a professional network and an EdTech solution for women in business. I think what we're trying to do is redefine where women do business.

Business has historically been a space for men, and women don't necessarily go golfing or to the Majlis or go to cigar lounges to do business. I think women need safe spaces, and we play by different rule books. We need to find these incredible spaces, such as PLAYBOOK, and pool our money together to buy property and invest in it. As well as influence each other, amplify each other's voices and support each other in the workplace. I think that's how we're going to really redefine the narrative. I think PLAYBOOK is a toolkit that offers content and master classes by women, for women, that reverse engineer what success looks like across multiple industries. We also offer access to mentors and experts and, in the near future, access to capital as well.

What do you believe the benefits of industries that prioritize women's advancement will be?

The bottom line is, if you add women into any position, in any organization, the company makes more money. This is not an emotional thing, this is not a CSR thing, this is pure business. Studies have shown that women can create more profitable businesses despite getting less access to funding. Every report, from McKinsey to Forbes, consistently demonstrates that higher representation of women on boards and in leadership positions leads to more profitable organizations. The formula is clear: greater inclusion of women in an organization results in increased diversity and inclusion, providing the best pathway for a company's business advancement.

As a female leader, what observations do you have regarding the noteworthy ascent of women in the telecommunications sector? What programs do you have in place to assist women working in the telco industry?

We encompass essential aspects such as business, life, money, and crucial soft skills necessary for our advancement. I think women do really well in school. I believe the statistics demonstrate that women tend to achieve better grades, but when transitioning to the workforce, the dynamics change significantly. Therefore, guide me through the PLAYBOOK, and I can excel in the game. Our aim is to have accomplished women who have successfully navigated fundraising, ascended to CEO positions, served as ministers, or ventured into space, to reverse engineer the soft skills they acquired. These skills often come at a cost in terms of time, money, energy, and perhaps a considerable amount of hardship. The goal is to share these insights with our network—both professional and personal—through our platform.

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