The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has today published a report on Inclusion and Diversity – a strategy for pharmacy 2020-2025.
RPS Chief Executive Paul Bennett said:
“RPS is committed to making inclusion and diversity (I&D) central to the way we champion the pharmacy profession, to celebrate and encourage diverse voices across pharmacy. Our aim is to be truly representative of our members and patients, creating a workplace in which everyone feels they can be themselves and thrive.
“Last year, we committed to improving I&D within the profession, appointing an independent chair, Asif Sadiq MBE, to oversee our activities. We conducted a comprehensive survey that pinpointed our strengths and weaknesses as a profession and worked with pharmacists and stakeholders across England, Scotland and Wales to explore areas in need of change.
“Those discussions flagged disability as the area needing the most support and improvement, followed closely by age and race. Disability was also perceived to be the biggest barrier to working in pharmacy, with other barriers including age, pregnancy and maternity status. In response, we’ve set clear objectives to address these concerns and overcome these specific obstacles.
“COVID19 has had a disproportionate impact on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and shone a bright light on health inequalities. The Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted that unacceptable racism, injustice and prejudice are issues that remain unresolved in wider society. RPS has heard the calls for faster action on tackling discrimination experienced by colleagues across pharmacy, healthcare, the NHS and society. We will be working with those with lived experiences across our profession to address any prejudice based on race.”
The RPS Inclusion and Diversity Report is a plan for, and by, pharmacy. Its initiatives support both immediate and long-term changes based on three priorities:
- Create a culture of belonging
- Champion inclusive and authentic leadership
- Challenge Inclusion & Diversity barriers
RPS President Sandra Gidley said:
“We’ve already acted on our commitment to publishing our ethnicity pay gap and gender pay gap at RPS. We do this voluntarily as we want to be open and transparent about where there is disparity. Our next step will be to set up an action group to enable networking and delivery of our ambitious strategy.
“There’s still a long way to go, but this report is our public commitment to an ambitious inclusion and diversity programme over the next five years. We’ll work with you every step of the way to create positive change for the profession.”