Paving paths through mentorship: Tricia and Oindrila

Teva’s mentorship program is enabling women to develop and advance with support from senior female leaders.

“Women can have ambitions and aspirations; they don't need to be modest about them and they don't need to make excuses for them. That is the biggest thing I’ve learned from the mentorship program - it's all there for me and I am welcome to have it.”
Oindrila Chatterjee, Senior Director In-line Portfolio, 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.

“It was so fulfilling to share, challenge and help mentees and other women across Teva. The unexpected surprise was the comradery, affinity, perspective and learnings that we all gained. Because of the program, there was self-discovery and relationships established that would not have naturally occurred. Ultimately, mentees benefitted tremendously from the individual mentorship and group encounters.”
Tricia Hew Chen, VP, Regional Finance Director, 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 is part of our efforts to address Teva’s strategic priority to reach gender parity at the senior leadership level,” explains Dana Manor, Director of Leadership Development at Teva. “It was a unique opportunity for me - both as a Learning and Organizational Development professional and as a woman - to offer other women 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.”

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

Meet the mentor

Tricia Hew Chen, VP, Regional Finance Director, US

Tricia is the Anda business finance leader with responsibility over traditional finance as well as analytics, pricing and contracts. She has been with Anda over 10 years, is a mother of two and an avid golfer since age 10. 

Of the mentorship program she says: “I think Teva was excellent in their selection of facilitator and guest speakers. In addition, it was very clear that the program, process, timing and sessions were well thought out and varied in style and structure. The mentor/mentee pairing was brilliant.”

Meet the mentee

Oindrila Chatterjee, Senior Director In-line Portfolio, US

Oindrila works on strategic projects in a global capacity, managing and optimizing Teva products in the market. As an Indian woman working in the US, she has very strong connections to both countries and a burning passion to advocate for minority rights and diversity. She is a special parent to an autistic son and a neurotypical daughter and she is a two-time cancer survivor.

Oindrila praises the structure of the mentorship program – “the sense of taking a step, achieving something, moving to the next step. There are touch points along the way with the mentors, they join us for certain parts of the program and we share experiences. This, combined with the experiences that we share with the other mentees, gives us so much material to work with.”

Forging a partnership

Tricia: “At first I was a bit perplexed - Oindrila from global portfolio, Tricia from Anda finance, which is a more stand-alone local entity – would there be enough in common to share? Well we hit it off in the first minute – there was genuine understanding and natural trust. We scheduled meetings and never rescheduled once; we shared, challenged and laughed a lot. I listened with empathy and objectivity, always providing an attentive ear and direct feedback. Oindrila is a sound professional and strong woman, ready and able to fulfil her aspirations.” 

Oindrila: “When it came to working with Tricia, the most critical learning I’ve had is to showcase my transferable skills and expertise in areas of cross-functional needs, and not just focus on becoming an expert in one area. I have been good at my subject and proving myself in my subject but Tricia has taught me to stop pigeon-holing myself. I’m still working on this and have been trying out small things with Tricia’s support – this is the beauty of the program, the partnership.”

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What are the program benefits?

Tricia: “The benefits are many and not just for the mentees. Everyone benefits from the shared experiences, struggles and triumph. We have now all forged a new bond that we can take with us on our Teva journey.” 

Oindrila: “The biggest benefit is being in a cohort of like-minded and talented women. There is this gender bias that women who are ambitious are aggressive; we’re expected to be successful and smart but if we express our aspirations, that’s considered aggressive. I have always worked hard to progress and move higher. Being with other women like me has made me realize that it’s okay to put my goals and aspirations out in the open.”

How has Teva supported your career to date?

Tricia: “From an everyday perspective, I have been very fortunate to have a male boss who supports diversity and inclusion through his words and actions. I also have to say that Teva’s learning and development offerings have personally fostered my career development and connections across Teva.” 

Oindrila: “Teva's investment in my journey has been really admirable - the fact that there's a team of people structuring a program for me and a senior manager investing time in me, that’s quite unique. As a two-time cancer survivor I’ve also been well supported, whether that’s been working from home when I needed to or adjusting team meeting times so I could attend between hospital treatments. Both my career and my wellbeing were fantastically well supported during this time and because of Teva and my manager, I was not required to compromise on either front. I was offered growth and advancement opportunities without hesitation.”

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What is your advice for other women?

Tricia: “Speak up without hesitation – you’ve already earned your seat at the table. Establish multiple networks – you’re a natural at relationships. Seek out other women leaders – no, you are not the only one and yes, it is ok to feel that way. Be assertive, confident and true to yourself.” 

Oindrila: “Decide what kind of support you need and what are the characteristics of the person that can help you on your journey. Find a mentor with whom you share common ground and think about the core values that are important to you.”

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