Women@Teva Spotlight: Tanisha D. Hill
Tanisha D. Hill, MPH, US Medical Director, Respiratory, shares the challenges of performing two roles, what motivates her, and how she leans in to ‘professional stretch.’ Below is an excerpt from her interview in the Women@Teva Employee Resource Group newsletter.
What is your current role?
I am the Director of the Medical Science Liaison (MSL) teams for Oncology and Respiratory Business Units. I am also the Interim U.S. Medical Director for Respiratory until the position is filled.
What do you enjoy about your work?
I love the science, the people and the direct contact with health care providers but, what I find most gratifying, is to see real examples of the impact that Teva’s products have on the lives of patients.
What led you to science and your role at Teva?
I was always drawn to the sciences. I majored in Neuroscience and Behavior at Wesleyan University and went on to get my Masters in Public Health at Emory University. I then worked in various areas of healthcare, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and private practices in the area of Women’s Health and Respiratory disease. I spent seven years conducting clinical research at the largest private pediatric pulmonary practice in the country. My clinical and research experience in respiratory disease is what led to my becoming the first Respiratory MSL at Teva and to my first opportunity in pharma.
You’ve been at Teva for over seven years and are now in a Director role. What motivated you to succeed?
God is my ultimate motivator, but my parents were a HUGE influence on me. They were born in Barbados and came to the U.S. to provide opportunities for themselves and family. I am the only one of my mom’s children born in the U.S. We grew up in New York, and my parents made sacrifices and instilled a strong work ethic in me at an early age. I had great mentors during my career and ultimately was selected as a MSL Director because of my leadership skills and belief that I had what it takes to grow into the position. I also had a few great mentors along the way!
You’re doing two roles right now. How do you balance that?
Multiple roles can be demanding of your time and really put your organizational skills to the test. My colleague calls embracing added roles and responsibilities, the “Professional Stretch.” To broaden and stretch your skillset, you have to change your mindset from “this is too much for me” to “I have the capacity to take this on.” The best thing about it is that you get the opportunity to learn new things and are recognized as being capable of taking on new challenges.
What advice do you have for aspiring female leaders?
When I started at Teva, I saw few female leaders around me, but we have come a long way since then and of course, we still have some room to grow. I think resilience is a key factor in becoming a female leader and I’ve always been inspired by this quote: “Resilience plays a role in every success narrative, regardless of a person’s race or gender. What is different for women is that we have to rely on resilience more heavily because of the frequency in which we encounter obstacles and setbacks resulting from the dynamics of race, gender and other identities.”
For black women who aspire to be leaders, I recommend embracing professional stretch and building allies to let others see who you are and what you are capable of doing. More importantly, remain proud of who you are and be open to new opportunities, even the unconventional or unplanned.