Interview with Mary Yanocha, Global Tax Management, Inc.

For this year’s International Women’s Day, our team at Slice is proud to celebrate women across the marketing and communications industry through an interview series. Follow along throughout the week leading up to International Women’s Day to read about these inspiring women and their stories.

This interview is with Mary Yanocha, the Chief Marketing Officer for Global Tax Management, Inc., one of largest tax firms that focuses exclusively on delivering services to mid-size and large multinational, public, and Fortune 500 companies.

How do you define your leadership?

My leadership style is inclusive and approachable by design. As I’ve moved up the ranks, I’ve never forgotten how it feels to be appreciated, no matter what role you play or at what level. I believe that respect for others and the tone you set for yourself helps fuel the energy and motivations of others around you. I like to keep my sights on big-picture strategy and my feet grounded in execution. The harmony of successfully managing both is when we actually accomplish what we set out to achieve.  

How has your leadership changed over the years you’ve been working?

With maturity comes perspective – particularly the perspective to see many sides of a situation and roll with the constant changes of an evolving culture and business climate. I used to take internal business decisions and the impacts they had on our marketing area more personally. But the truth is, it’s business. Business climates change, leaders change, clients’ needs change, and so do we. Adapting to this in a productive way with a positive attitude gives me the chance to better learn from all my business experiences – good and bad – that come with the territory. 

Can you share a story that demonstrates a key learning for you in your leadership journey?

If my leadership journey has taught me anything, it’s that diplomacy will get you further. You sometimes must be willing to make concessions in order to get the most important things accomplished. Whether it’s budget funding for a needle-moving marketing initiative or going to bat for another department resource, I’ve learned to provide options rather than a concrete solo solution. It’s much less off-putting when your boss or leadership team peers have some well-thought-out options to consider as they weigh in on a decision.

What role do you think marketing communications should play in the future of your organization or industry?

I recently authored an article for the Association for Accounting Marketing’s Growth Strategies journal about the evolving role marketers are playing within their firms. In this piece, I talk about marketing no longer being an afterthought. Marketing leaders are becoming more involved in the business itself, playing a key role in strategy development, growth initiatives, client experience, and firm integration. 

This added influence requires marketers to possess a deep understanding of their businesses and stay current with the marketing strategies, technologies, and trends shaping how we go to market. That means professional development must be a continuous priority. 

I also think of marketing not as a “cost center,” but as a “growth center.” I’ve been with my current company for just over five years. In that time, I’ve seen our business grow by more than 40%. That’s tremendous. Marketing has played a crucial role in that success, and it continues to be an exciting journey. 

What do you think young women entering the marketing communications field should know?  What advice do you have for them?

Be confident in how you approach your job. It’s easy to be intimidated by more dominant or more “seasoned” business leaders in your organization. But just because they have the tenure or attitude, doesn’t mean they have it right! Hold firm in your convictions. Being nice doesn’t mean being a doormat. If you disagree, say so respectfully, and then explain why. Using your voice to express opinions and insights that may differ from others or gives them another factor to consider is how businesses innovate. I think women in business are finally realizing that we’re in this thing called life together and we have the choice to boost each other up or perpetuate a glass ceiling. We need to choose wisely!

Interested in more? Check out the full interview series here.

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