"We All Deserve to Feel Like We Belong"
Following International Women’s Day 2023, Irit Hovich, Global I&D Lead at Teva, talks about gender equality and her goal to take Teva to the next step to become an even more inclusive workplace.
I was born in the former Soviet Union and emigrated with my family to Israel when I was 10. This background of growing up in a foreign country was challenging for me. For years I felt lonely and that I didn't belong. It was also difficult for my parents, who had to battle with a new language and start their careers again in their forties.
However, my parents' resilience was inspiring and influenced by this as a teenager, I promised myself that I wouldn’t let my past dictate my future. And I knew I'd always work as hard as possible to realize my goals.
When I was 22, shaped by my own experiences, I pursued a career where I could help others from diverse backgrounds reach their professional potential. Over the years, this path has allowed me to integrate underrepresented populations into the workforce and assist many global organizations in promoting their I&D strategies.
My journey has led me to Teva, where I'm the Global I&D Lead. This position is an enormous privilege, and during my time here, I have found many allies, professional partners, and fantastic opportunities to leverage the meaningful work that has been done around I&D to create a holistic plan.
Research in the I&D space indicates that inclusive culture and significant diversity (gender and cultural) on boards and senior leadership teams leads to increased performance and fosters innovation, engagement, organizational resilience, and a positive brand. My goal is to take Teva to the next step to be an even more inclusive workplace for all our people of all genders.
Gender inequality is one of society's most fundamental struggles. From a systemic standpoint, when it comes to women’s equity and equality, we are moving in two opposing directions. On the one hand, women are progressing to reach extraordinary achievements in business, culture, sports, art, and more. Yet at the same time, we observe a trend towards objectifying women's bodies and societies where women are denied basic rights, such as in education and freedom of movement, suffer economic discrimination, and more. This phenomenon emphasizes the importance of addressing the issue of gender inequality.
All of us have an obligation to work actively together to promote equal rights and opportunities for all genders in general. There are many steps we can take to promote gender equality. For instance, reflecting upon our attitudes and behaviors towards women versus men and challenging them.
As a company, we're working to promote I&D, emphasizing an inclusive work environment alongside an increase in the representation rates of women in senior leadership positions, including:
- Investing heavily in strengthening our organizational infrastructure around I&D processes.
- Continuing to invest in coaching and mentoring to support women's professional development and company-wide learning activities
- Reviewing our talent acquisition processes to make them more inclusive and equal for all
Of course, change won't happen overnight. This journey will take us time to see the results, but we can promote change across Teva and, in doing so, impact the communities we serve and our patients.
Find out more
- Listen to Irit discuss radical new workplace trends in inclusion and diversity
- Take a look at these 11 Insights from Women Leading the Way at Teva (tevapharm.com)
- At Teva, we believe that diversity drives innovation and creativity, and inclusion and diversity are core values that inform our entire organization. Read more
- Would you like to join our inspiring team and start your own journey? Visit our Careers section.