Meet Sylvie Forté, Teva Canada employee for over 30 years
Thirty years after taking a six-week temp job, Sylvie Forté is happy to reflect on her extraordinary career journey at Teva Canada. Today, she is the Marketing and Communications Specialist responsible for translating the company’s marketing and regulatory materials into French – a role that didn’t exist three decades ago.
Newly arrived in Toronto from Montreal with her young family in 1992, Sylvie was an experienced Bilingual Executive Assistant actively looking for work. She was hired to fill in for Novopharm founder Leslie Dan’s Executive Assistant. When that contract ended, Sylvie accepted a position leading tours of the facility, typically to at least one group of 40 people per week.
“I had to get myself familiar with the story of the company, because I had to brief people about it,” she recalls. “So, I created contacts; whether it was in Quality Control or in the microbiology lab, I got to know people.”
She was also seeing more and more documentation and realized her unique skill set could benefit the company. “I kind of created my own job,” she says. At first, it was an informal arrangement but soon there was more demand for translation, and she found herself working on larger projects. This led to another realization. “More and more, I was seeing I needed to get the right tools to do a better job,” she says.
With the full support of her supervisors and colleagues, Sylvie enrolled in York University’s Bachelor of Arts program for translation. Studying part time – while juggling her full-time job and a busy household that included two young children – it took five years to earn her degree. Looking back, she says, it was a hectic time, but worth it. Her achievement was made even more special when her supervisor attended her graduation ceremony, and Leslie Dan congratulated her on her accomplishments.
“It was a really nice thing for me to see how they were behind me all the way. They gave me flexibility and I really, truly appreciated that. It was very motivational, and that’s why I stayed with Teva, because I also felt that they put me where I was.”
With Teva’s current line of more than 300 products, Sylvie has a lot of work to keep her busy – but she still loves what she does, and the people she has come to know. “Every assignment is different, so you continue to grow,” she explains. “The work is always different. Even though the process is the same, what I’m producing is unique."
Sylvie is proud to work for a company that puts customers and patients first and gives back where it can. She notes that Teva supports many areas around the world, through medicine donations.
That support and commitment, combined with the friendships she has made and the collaborative corporate culture at Teva, have provided a solid foundation for a long and fulfilling career.
“It’s a big motivator when you work and you’re in a good environment,” Sylvie says. “It’s the work that I do with others and for others that makes it interesting. Some of my colleagues have been with Teva for 10-15 years and the work, the collaboration that we have, is unique and this is what makes you stay. You know what you have is special.”