Teva Employee Resource Groups are Growing with Pride
Among the initiatives Teva has in place to help our people flourish are the ERGs, Employee Resource Groups, where employees can find allies, network, and build relationships on issues that matter to them. The LGBTQ+ ERGs in the US and Canada, Europe, South America and Israel welcome new members, whether from the LGBTQ+ community or allies, and work year-round to help foster an inclusive and welcoming environment at work.
Carlos Lopez, co-lead of the ERG at Teva in the US, says he originally joined the group with the "intention of networking with Teva peers and getting to know folks beyond his business unit and learn more about the company. But it quickly became clear that being actively involved in Teva’s ERGs provides you with a prime opportunity to influence and impact diversity and inclusion policies at work, which can strengthen Teva’s position in the marketplace and make it a better place to work for ALL of us." His participation ended up giving him so much more. "It has given me a better perspective on how we – as employees - can drive the culture we want to see at work. It has taught me to be more outspoken and engage many different people I wouldn’t have been otherwise able to meet. On a personal level, it has taught me how active engagement and volunteerism can help personal growth."
For Erick Tyssier, joining the European LGBTQ+ ERG was part of his journey to feeling fully free. "For too many years I lived in the closet at work not knowing how it will affect my career or my colleagues. I then realized that the only way to become my true self was to enjoy the freedom to live my life openly. I realized that what I was missing was for my difference to be welcome, respected, and represented. Teva ESGs and more, particularly the company's I&D engagement has been an eye-opener, making me wonder how I could support members of my community to feel free to be themselves to live their lives to the fullest. Workplaces have a huge part to play in making this a reality. But inclusion is not a given."
Erick notes, "One of our first initiatives is to create a very safe environment for all our colleagues, members of the LGBTQ+ community. The creation of the ERG is a first step to understand and learn about the community's issues and how to best address them. For example, we have to acknowledge the importance of openly and publically saying that it is “ok” to be part of the community at Teva. We are working on a Communication strategy to communicate both internally and externally our LGBTQ+ good news stories, sharing employee stories, or reporting on LGBTQ+ workplace initiatives. Our contribution to Teva’s first Pride Campaign is a good example of this engagement. We also want to look at developing trainings dedicated to LGBTQ+ topics and look at our workplace policies to ensure these policies reflect how Teva supports its LGBTQ+ people."
Among the initiatives that Carlos is working on, is the HRC CEI (Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index) a nationwide US benchmark used to determine how companies rank in terms of equality and diversity for LGBTQ employees. "It contains a myriad of areas we need to sustain and improve on to obtain a highscore, including policies, marketing, recruiting, training, systems, facilities, benefits, and more. It requires a lot of work, planning, and engaging different parts of the business to achieve this rating every year, and we are very proud of this achievement," he says. Other programs include events and newsletters that aim to educate members and allies on different LGBTQ topics.
Reflecting on his work and the initiatives of the ERG, Erick says he's proud to be a change agent for his community. "It is about time that we look into creating a safer, more inclusive and equitable space for the LGBTQ+ community. The community has been evolving over the years and continues to evolve, but it’s still not a given that everyone feels comfortable at work."
Cedric Jungpeter initiated the Teva Pride Israel group with his HR colleague Sharon Edrei. "We are an informal group and we plan to enhance our activities for 2023. We are fortunate to have already attracted interest from a dozen employees in nearly all our sites but, as the saying goes, 'the more the merrier!'"