Learn from a few women in U.S. Diagnostics executive roles about their career journeys, challenges and advice for those new to the healthcare workforce.
At Roche Diagnostics, we believe every person deserves the opportunity to live authentically at work, at home and in our communities. We believe in breaking the bias to create an inclusive culture that fosters a gender-equal world. In 2011, Roche Diagnostics launched the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI). This employee-led business resource group’s vision was to “Get inspired. Get engaged. Get ahead.” Its members transformed Roche by increasing the number of women in key leadership positions.
Eleven years later, women in leadership roles at Roche Indianapolis site have grown from 11% to 43%. Today, 40% of our U.S. Diagnostics lead team members identify as women: Bridget Boyle, vice president of people and culture; Hong Hong, vice president of access and government affairs; Kaye Vitug, chief financial officer; and Sandy Rodriguez, vice president of communications.
Together, these four leaders help break the bias. Learn about their career journeys and advising for peers and those following in the next-generation of healthcare talent.
I’ve learned over the years to create balance by making time for the things that keep me fulfilled. I used to think balance was taking a day and trying to evenly split up the amount of time among job, career and passions. I also used to feel guilty if I didn’t respond to an email right away or stay busy all the time.I often sacrificed dinner with friends or family, or working out, because I had too much work. But I didn’t feel happy or fulfilled. Today, there are days when I spend more time devoted to work, but I now am also deliberate about taking time to do things that keep me balanced: I volunteer with a food bank that I’m a member of and make time to hang out with family and cook traditional Mexican recipes. I say yes more often when my friends ask me to go out, and I work out more often. And I’m OK with that. That feels right to me. Knowing that I don’t spend all day, every day, devoted to work helps me feel like I’m not solely defined by that and I can also do a better job.
Sandy Rodriguez, vice president of communications
Impostor syndrome caused a lot of sleepless nights and anxiety-filled moments earlier in my career. It took a lot of recognition and reinforcement from my trusted inner circle to build up my confidence. As I learned from more experiences and new skills, I became more aware of who I am and what I bring to the table. And I lean on others for what I don’t. Recently, I came across a whole section in Adam Grant’s book Think Again on impostor syndrome and realized that this can be embraced as “confident humility” instead. That’s humility in that I have gaps now, but I can be confident in my ability to learn and grow.
Kaye Vitug, chief financial officer
Absolutely I have felt this feeling. The strongest recollection was when I first moved to Indianapolis to lead human resources on this campus. I really felt the job was too big and that I was unprepared. I kept thinking, “Do they really think I can do this?” I confidentially shared how I was feeling with another senior leader, and he shared with me that he had felt that same way many times. In fact, it was usually as he was stepping into a new, larger role. It was so reassuring to know this was normal, and that both men and women experience it. As an HR leader, I’ve heard from multiple senior leaders about this feeling. It’s so normal, and I really think you should embrace it when you feel it. What it means is that you are putting yourself out there, you are learning and being stretched. That’s a good thing! Now if I ever hear those negative voices in my head, I quiet them by remembering the path that has gotten me here and I tell myself, “Come on, we’ve been here before. Take a deep breath, and you’ve got this!"
Bridget Boyle, vice president of people and culture
Through the years, I have had an opportunity to meet and work with a number of young women who are early in their professional careers. Honestly, I’ve been so impressed with all of them, and know that I was nowhere near as put together when I started in the corporate world. If I had to go back and give my younger self advice, I would say be your authentic self and follow your own career journey, not someone else’s career journey.
Hong Hong, vice president of access and government affairs
From these leaders, we gather that the power of being yourself will prevail – and we remain committed to focusing on women advancing in leadership roles at Roche. Having a working environment in which all employees feel empowered and safe to bring their authentic selves to work is paramount to our purpose-driven culture. We look forward to continuing this journey.