Paving paths through mentorship: Debbie and Shosh

As part of Teva’s ongoing focus on inclusion and diversity, a new mentorship program is enabling women to develop and advance with support from senior female leaders.

“A mentorship program is a great way to make connections in different parts of your organization, accessing many different points of view, experiences and a wealth of knowledge.”
Debbie McCollough, mentee

Supporting women with the tools and networks they need to navigate their careers effectively is an important part of our career focus at Teva. That’s why we created a dynamic mentorship program, designed both to accelerate female advancement into senior roles and establish a supportive and engaging forum for senior women leaders. It’s all part of our greater aim – to achieve gender parity at senior leadership level.

“As a mentor, I enjoy sharing my experience with others and over time I’ve realized that I get back at least as much as I share.”
Shosh Neumann, mentor

How the program works

The program matches mentors with mentees to develop their career path through counselling, knowledge and experience sharing. It is designed to benefit both parties; mentees can discuss challenges and accelerate their growth in a safe space, while mentors practice skills required to grow and develop colleagues.

But that’s not all. The program also brings the participants together for group discussions – both as a single group and in mentor and mentee groupings allowing both cohorts to share learnings and challenges and widen their networks. A series of talks by external speakers offers additional insights and knowledge.

“The Go Be Women’s Mentoring Program offers a unique and dynamic journey of many trails, where each of us is encouraged to find her own path, realize her potential and achieve her professional goals,” explains Dana Manor, Director of Leadership Development at Teva. “We worked with the business to identify women leaders from around the globe and were thrilled with how many senior women leaders offered to act as mentors to help accelerate the development and career advancement of other women at Teva.”

The program was designed and delivered in partnership with the Institute for Quality Leadership, facilitated by Gail Raz, co-CEO.

Meet the mentor

Shosh Neumann, Site General Manager Kfar Saba, Israel

Shosh is currently in the process of transforming Israel’s Kfar Saba site, adding new products and focusing on biologics. She enjoys down time from work by relaxing with her family and taking part in sports.

She is full of praise for the mentorship program, explaining that it is much more professional in terms of the level it operates at than previous mentorship programs she has been involved with.

“The approach was very methodical and it was good to hear the theory behind the process. We shared experiences between the mentors and also had full sessions with all mentors and mentees - it was nice to get to know people from other areas in Teva, from different countries, areas of expertise and experiences.”

Meet the mentee

Debbie McCollough, Senior Director Brand Marketing Movement Disorders, US

Debbie leads the Movement Disorder marketing team in the US and is responsible for delivering on the sales objectives while creating a collaborative environment to harness the full potential of the team. She left her previous job to work at Teva, attracted by its culture, leadership structure and job opportunities. Outside the day job, she enjoys a good read, volunteers in helping victims of domestic violence and can be called on any time of the day or night to provide support.

On the mentorship program, she particularly enjoyed meeting up with the other mentees – “this was really beneficial. When we met up as mentees, you could really be reflective and be your true self because so many of us were going through the same types of situations, regardless of where we were around the globe. I will absolutely keep in contact with everyone I’ve met.”

Forging a partnership

Shosh: “As a mentor, it’s important to listen and to be empathetic, to be supportive and give the mentee the understanding they need to believe in themselves – to encourage and challenge, but not to judge. I also believe it’s very important to share all of your experiences, including your failures – because I have learned from my failures and this is something to demonstrate.”

Debbie: “In the discussions that Shosh and I have had, I have taken away lots of learning and one of those is how simple it can be to make time to think about the future of the business. Shosh has a small group that she meets with regularly to brainstorm on what the future could look like and what is needed for enhancing success, leveraging experience and expertise across the organization and looking beyond our day to day activities. It’s made me more aware of the opportunities that exist to bring people together and think about the future. It’s too easy to get caught up in the day to day and not dedicate enough time to the future. If Shosh can make the time, I can make the time”

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What are the program benefits?

Shosh: “Programs like this open minds to other worlds, other people and other experiences.”

Debbie: “It's been nice to have others provide their viewpoint, their perspective, to help me crystallize what key areas I might be able to dive into deeper to accelerate my leadership qualities. We as mentees went through a number of different assessments on paper and I had great conversations with Shosh about where the individual data points intersect and that is the richness of the assessment.”

How has Teva supported your career?

Shosh: “While I’ve never felt any gender discrimination at Teva and I’ve risen to the top of my profession, it’s been great in recent years to see Teva putting gender equality in focus by promoting it and putting active actions in place. Sometimes women believe in themselves less and are less confident and persistent. By putting programs like this in place and supporting women, it helps them to believe in themselves.”

Debbie: “I was invited to join the Women’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) the week I joined Teva – the group is very active and that shows and speaks volumes about the company. As does the mentorship program, because when you think about the investment it took to get it up and running, that’s a huge commitment.“

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What is your advice for other women?

Shosh: “Believe in yourself, be persistent and get as much support as you can from your company and colleagues.”

Debbie: “Saying ‘I need a mentor’ is like saying ‘I want to be more strategic’ but what does that mean? Ask yourself what goals you want to accomplish and define what you want out of the mentorship experience and then go and make it happen.”

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