Empowering Communities & Voicing Women With Wafa Alobaidat
What inspired you to embark on your journey in coaching? And what are the main traits one must possess to become a coach?
I have always been an avid learner. Learning has been a crucial part of building my company. I have found that the more I learn, the more I want to teach. I have truly found a passion for empowering communities with the necessary tools to enhance their skills, build their businesses, and achieve their goals.
The most important traits in coaching are definitely enthusiasm and strong communication skills. A coach needs to be enthusiastic about what they are teaching. People feed off of that energy and excitement and carry that on in their own work going forward. Communication is key in coaching sessions. Communication not only helps get your points across, but it also helps you to connect with the audience.
What is the importance of raising awareness on the impact of coaching in societies? In what ways can coaching benefit our educational systems and impact future generations?
Coaching is a crucial part of our educational system as it involves teaching and personalizing the content to mold the attendees, build their foundational knowledge, and enhance their abilities. As the world has started to put more emphasis on humanizing content, it should also be integrated into our educational system to mentor future generations to become all-rounders in all aspects of life.
What horizons and leadership experiences have your current position – as CEO of OBAI & HILL – and field offered you, personally and professionally, that other positions and fields have not?
One of the perks of running and working at an agency is that I am constantly meeting people from all walks of life in various fields. I always leave a client meeting with the knowledge I didn’t have going in. At Obai and Hill, we don’t focus on one field or industry, but rather, give importance to diversifying our portfolio and aim to support businesses in various fields. This inevitably leads to constant learning and growth for me as a CEO.
What is the cherry-on-top that distinguishes OBAI & HILL within the industry?
We always put our clients first. It is very important to my team and me that our client’s expectations are met. We are truly passionate about our client’s brands and are willing to go the extra mile to support them.
In your opinion, what are the main steps any organization should implement to achieve a positive, collaborative, and inclusive work environment?
We encourage open communication at Obai and Hill. Whether it’s brainstorming sessions, working on projects, or even our weekly meetings, we are always open to hearing the team’s ideas and thoughts. We put a lot of focus on understanding the team’s goals, challenges, and priorities to ensure everyone feels heard. In addition, our team is so diverse in terms of skills, talents, and passions so we really emphasize celebrating our differences and think outside the box to develop fun and creative initiatives together.
You are the founder of the Women Power Network, through which a yearly Summit is held gathering women from across the globe, and you are also the host of the Women Power Podcast. How did all of this come to life and what are the objectives that keep driving your team, especially in this ever-evolving digital era?
It all comes back to my passion for empowering communities. I felt a need to highlight strong female role models for our community’s upcoming entrepreneurs and professionals. Hearing stories of successes and failures from other women – who have been in the same position as you – is very encouraging. I wanted to create a platform where women can learn from one another and support each other to achieve their goals and grow in their respective fields. The feedback we receive after each event or after an episode airs on the podcast is so motivating. To hear stories about how our events and podcast help women across the region are definitely what drives my team and I to keep going.
In your opinion, what structural, economic, and social advantages can more women inclusion bring to the table of all industries?
Women’s inclusion and gender equality in the workforce is integral. Gender inclusion is essential in building a sustainable and profitable organization. Women bring a unique perspective in all industries. We rarely hear from women in male-dominated industries such as engineering or sports. Providing them with a platform to share their stories and experiences will spread knowledge and encourage other women to pursue a career they want without boundaries. This will increase the number of women in the workforce in all industries.
Do you believe that we have enough women representation on boards? If no, what steps should be initiated to change the figures?
We don’t have enough women in boardrooms, in my opinion. I believe companies should implement mentorship programs to support and empower women to take steps towards board positions. Companies should be encouraging initiatives to promote gender equality on boards. I also think companies should definitely have more women in leadership positions to open up more opportunities for them on a board level.
Can you talk about one woman who has significantly impacted your life? Do you have a role model?
My mother, Faiza Saeed, is my biggest role model. Growing up, watching how she managed her career and family life was truly inspirational and now, as a mother myself, I appreciate that even more. Not only did she teach me how to be a motivated and hard-working individual, but she also showed me how it’s done, every day, and did it so effortlessly.
What are your thoughts on Feminism in the modern days?
Feminism to me is for men and women to have equal opportunities, it’s about women feeling empowered enough to do what they want without waiting for others to give them what they need. We as a society are definitely progressing and as women, we have surely come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.
What is your proudest achievement? And your biggest challenge?
Launching the Women Power Summit is one initiative I’m extremely proud of. It definitely came with its fair share of challenges but that’s what made it even more special and successful to me, knowing I overcame those challenges and inspired other women along the way is very rewarding and makes it all worthwhile. Another proud moment for me was when Obai & Hill won Start-Up of the Year in Bahrain. Winning the award only pushed me and my team even harder to achieve our goals and expand our vision.
What did you want to be growing up?
I have always wanted to be a writer, editor, and blogger. Now, through my newsletter, I get to do that regularly and it’s been very fulfilling. I really enjoy passing on everything I’ve learned over the years, and along with coaching, writing has really helped me do that. Writing is something I’m very passionate about and will continue doing whether it’s through my newsletter, writing articles, or even journaling.
What’s next for Wafa Alobaidat?
We have new exciting initiatives coming up with the Women Power Network in the near future, which I am very excited about. We are currently on season 6 of our podcast and we can’t wait to start season 7 soon and collaborate with women and organizations from around the region. In addition, I plan on continuing my coaching sessions and support young entrepreneurs & professionals expand their brands and businesses.