By Alejandra “Alex” Argudin, CAPP

This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) theme, #BalanceforBetter, couldn’t hit closer to home! As a professional in an unbalanced industry–parking–I have always strived to work hard and be confident about being able to perform at the same level, if not a higher one, than any of my counterparts.

I face everyday challenges feeling that I will come out as the champ. Sometimes I win and most times I learn, which is also winning. My most valuable lesson to date has been taking advantage of the opportunities that have been given to me. As a woman boss, it is my duty to mentor and encourage other women to pursue opportunities and to work hard for a seat at the table. For a woman, it is not different than for anyone else. We shouldn’t back down from something just because it’s out of the norm. On the contrary–that is the opportunity to demonstrate the difference that you can make.

As a mother of two very active baseball boys, the struggle can sometimes become too real. How can one be a professional and at the same time be a good mom, wife, friend, and well-rounded human being? There is no correct answer, but I do know that it takes a village and the magic word is SUPPORT. We need to support each other and let one another know that it is okay to strike a balance. Learning to balance professional and personal life while encouraging other women around me to do the same is very empowering, mostly because the results have always been better than expected.

You quickly realize the type of footprint you leave behind, whether at your workplace, at home, or on those around us. If you don’t find an opportunity, create one and own it. You will be surprised at the impact you can make.

Alejandra “Alex” Argudin, CAPP, is chief operations officer of the Miami Parking Authority.