[Editor’s Note: Join us this week as we celebrate the Women of PwC. Today’s interview is the third in a series of five.]
Martha Ruiz, a tax partner for PwC, specializes in helping clients in the entertainment industry with their tax and strategic planning. In addition, she also has a jaw-dropping role as the Oscars Balloting Co-leader. This means Martha is one of only two individuals in the world (along with balloting co-leader Brian Cullinan) who knows the winners a week before the event. And yes, she can be found during the ceremony hand delivering the envelopes with a winner’s name! PwC, which has had a relationship with the Academy for 88 years, announced Martha’s position just last year. She’s the second woman and first Latina woman to have this role.
In episode 28 of I Want Her Job: The Podcast, Editor and Host Polina Selyutin speaks with Martha about the importance of education, work ethic and its influence on one’s career path, her work as the balloting co-leader for the Oscars for an upcoming third year in a row, and that tricky topic of work/life balance.
TOPICS DISCUSSED IN TODAY’S SHOW:
- Working Mother’s Company: Martha shares the benefits of working with PwC as a #workingmom, including: mentorship, lengthy maternity leave and work flexibility.
- Education First: Martha’s decisions during college were influenced by the advice her parents gave her from the beginning, “Education was not a question, it’s an absolute for us … It’s the one gift we (parents) can give you that no one can take away.”
- On Perspective: “Watching our parents work hard as we were growing up really made an impact. It was very difficult for my sisters and I to look at things as a challenge knowing how much they worked hard for us and what they tried to give us,” she says.
- Advice for Her Daughter: Martha tries to help her daughter make her own decisions, instead of doing what they think she wants, so they can thrive with their own passions. “As long as you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’re going to be successful,” she says. But, Martha is quick to remind us, and her daughters, that there is always a practical side to think about. Her big takeaway? “If you’re passionate about something, be creative with how you do it.”
- Awards Season: It really is year-round for Martha and her co-worker, Brian, as they plan timing, dates and all aspects of what it takes to put the Oscars team together as early as a couple of weeks after the previous award show ends.
- Memory Game: You thought giving a presentation with note cards was stressful. Martha has to remember all 24 Oscars winners without any written notes! We already feel the pressure.
- Morning Rituals: To help with work/life balance, Martha shares the importance of a family breakfast, with no gadgets, before the day of meetings, school and practices take over. Martha reminds us that it’s about making positive family rituals to create memories for your children that they will remember for a lifetime.
- Recommended Reading: Martha looks for books that help us think through as women the different challenges we go through, such as The Confidence Code. As a mom with a middle schooler, Martha also looks for sound advice to keep communication open with her daughter and being a good influence. Her most recent read on her nightstand is Planet Middle School.
- More Reading: In February, I Want Her Job interviewed Martha. Read more of her advice here.
- Connect: Follow Martha on Twitter.
Learn More: Follow PwC on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Plus, don’t miss the first installment in ‘Women at PwC Week’ featuring U.S. Tax Sectors Leader Barbra Bukovac and the second featuring Partner Natasha Granholm.