The Pressure Cooker Lets Out a Good Steam

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There exists a sea of motivational books for women on how they can enhance their career prospects while also navigating the rigours of raising a family. However, the book, ‘Pressure Cooker: Lessons from a Woman at Work’, written by NkiruOlumide-Ojo is an exemplar for its simplicity but yet pragmatic insights into how women can be successful in their careers while also maintaining a decent home-front.

Olumide-Ojo, a Marketing and Communications professional, is an advocate of women’s issues and founded the LightHouse Network, a social-development initiative that is dedicated to empowering young women by providing them a formal mentoring structure. She has also spoken at conferences and events on brand management and women issues. She has received several awards, including the 2008 edition of NIPRO Top 40 Under 40. She is married with two children.

So when Olumide-Ojo decided to have a book reading to discuss some of the pertinent issues she raised in her book and how she navigated through them in the course of her burgeoning career at the prestigious Terra Kulture, Tiamuyi Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos, career women from all walks of life converged in their numbers to get up close and personal with the author.

Olumide-Ojo started by sharing with the audience how she grew up in a no holds barred society in Port-Harcourt where at a tender age she was given the impression that not everything is supposed to be done by women. Juxtaposing that in the work place, it could act as a restraint to women on how far they are willing to go in their careers because they have been brought up with an erroneous allusion that aiming for the top may well be the exclusive preserve of men. She says mentorship and guidance are two key areas that women in their careers should seek in order to set out on a right footing.

On why she decided to write the book, Olumide-Ojo said the Pressure Cooker: Lessons from a Woman at Work was penned in order to help young women in their careers. She hopes that women would be able to glean lessons from her life experiences and avoid errors that are common amongst women in the work place and at home with their partners.

“I had two young children and was struggling to be great at everything – at home, career and friendships because they were all important to me. I wasn’t finding the right answers from people, so I started writing a column in BusinessDay newspaper called the Pressure Cooker to express my frustrations. Seven years after, it has morphed into a book. The book really means to say to young women in this same challenge that ‘you are not alone’. It also says there are simple solutions you can apply to make your journey easier,” Olumide-Ojo said.

Reading excerpts from the work, where members of the audience were treated to the goldmine of nuggets nestled in various chapters of the book. Delving into the fourth chapter titled Your Partner and Work, she says it is absolutely important that women build their lives in the way that it allows them to own the things that matter to them. In this chapter, she explains the importance of life partners and why it is so important for ladies while dating to address issues like shared values and goals and how they would fit into their marriages before settling down with their partners. She also examines the effect work could have in marital relationships and how couples could help each other to get the best out of their work and personal lives.

For Olumide-Ojo, it was a great time to meet with career women who wanted to learn more from her and ask career-specific questions which she was more than happy to respond to. The reading afforded her the opportunity to discern firsthand what people think about her book, with most of the attendees saying they enjoyed the reading and gained valuable information.