So many of y'all know that I'm an actress and stuff. (Well, I'm on hiatus at the moment, so technically right now I'm...well, nothing.) And while this is an incredibly tough industry to break into, I was blessed with the best foundation one could ask for: entrepreneurial parents.
There is a lot to be said for growing up in a household in which my parents never stopped thinking about their careers and--because they were both self-employed--were never off the clock. Nor did they have benefits, vacation/sick time, or anyone else to blame if everything went to hell. Needless-to-say, I was more than prepared for the hustling and endless hours that go into cultivating my career as an actress, all thanks to good ol' Mom and Dad.
But here's the coolest part: my mom, Queen of Everything Awesome, was not only her own boss, but she was the owner and operator of a MACHINE SHOP. She'd wake up every morning, make breakfast for her kids before school, fix her immaculate mane and apply individual lashes to each eye (this was a friggin' science, let me tell you), stop by Starbucks (apple, tree) and the donut shop to pick up treats for every one of her employees, then arrive at work in time to cool the place down and start the coffee pot before anyone arrived. Then she'd throw on her welding helmet and get to work, only breaking for lunch and her mani/pedi appointments, which she kept every other week. At the end of the day she'd scrub up, make sure everything was put away and prepared for the next day (nary a stray metal shard in sight), and come home to make dinner and spend time with her family.
Not only was she an amazing mother to my brother and I (and whoever else needed some motherly guidance...or a warm meal), regularly attending PTA meetings and hauling around whatever crap we were hawking for school fundraisers, but she also ran a very successful business in an industry where men call the shots and women fetch the coffee. (Which, to be fair, she did...but as a gesture of appreciation for her employees' contributions.) She regularly dealt with dudes sauntering into the shop, thinking they were going to pull a fast one on this sweet little southern belle sporting an oil-covered apron. Oh Lord, you've never seen a jaw drop so quickly! She'd put them in their place, usually with a little sass and a smile, and watch the contracts pile up.
My point (other than once again regaling you with stories about my lovely ma, forgive the detour) is that most of us women will at some point be written off and taken for granted because we have the audacity (/sarc) to be smart, business-savvy, and lovely to look at, and more than likely this will manifest at work. But I think it's worthwhile to acknowledge the bias, laugh (because sometimes you just have to giggle at naivete), and know that you are about to knock the socks off of anyone with whom you interact: co-workers, managers/bosses, clients/vendors, your husbands/wives, children, and friends.
Oh, and wielding an iron mallet also helps drive your point home. Just in case you were wondering.