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Home  »   BAME   »   BAME Pharmacists’ Network celebrates Black History Month with an online event

BAME Pharmacists’ Network celebrates Black History Month with an online event

Earlier this month, the PDA BAME Pharmacists’ Network celebrated Black History Month 2021 with an online event titled 'No more tick boxes'. The event featured the author, Roger Kline, Research Fellow at Middlesex University and former NHS Equality Director.

Thu 28th October 2021 The PDA

The discussion with Roger Kline was centred on his ‘No More Tick Boxes’ report that highlights the principles drawn from research evidence that would promote fairer recruitment and career progression especially for practitioners from BAME backgrounds with a focus on the public sector.

Elsy Gomez Campos, BAME Pharmacists’ network President opened the event, which was then chaired by Dorothy Egede, the network’s Honorary Secretary.  Roger Kline shared with the group his motivation on writing the report and stated that seeing minority groups being treated unfairly at work sparked him to question whether the systems currently in place to help tackle race discrimination in the workplace are actually working or have they ever worked. Roger determined that in isolation, policies won’t bring about the change needed.

Roger emphasised the importance of inserting accountability as it focuses on organisations and helps to change behaviours. He further underpinned the need to scrutinise, debias and remove affinity processes in order to remove discrimination and make recruitment and development fair.

Roger underlined six essential criteria for recruitment: Job criteria, scoring, decision making, making the process formal and stressed it should include inclusion and compassion. He suggested that the biggest public sector employers such as NHS Agenda for Change include these in their practice. He suggested that an effective way to ensure organisations follow through with the data is by adopting an ‘explain or change’ strategy where employers must explain why they have implemented data and prove why it worked.

Roger highlighted that the NHS Workforce Race and Equality Standard is a good foundational framework for organisations to follow and can be used to influence the narrative on addressing disproportionality in recruitment, development, and promotion even within the pharmacy sector. He suggested we take the existing data and creatively think about how it can be used for pharmacists. We should set targets for pharmacy nationally and targets for each organisation, share best practice, monitor progress and take action if things don’t change. Roger also stressed the importance of getting organised in your workplace.

On allyship, Roger recommended adopting a ‘problem sensing’ rather than a ‘comfort-seeking’ approach. He stated that those not affected by discrimination must reflect on their own privilege and behaviours and being part of the cause of institutional disadvantages. Roger further emphasised the need for allies to recognise that they have a key responsibility in driving the anti-racist agenda by finding ways to intervene, being proactive and developing those skills in themselves and others.

Dorothy Egede, Honorary Secretary of the PDA BAME Network, saidIn support of debiasing systems, consistent reviews of job descriptions are essential because where objectivity is lacking, we create room for our biases to take over in the face of such lengthy information. There is also a need to understand that inclusion goes beyond just representation from the group of protected characteristics but it also includes ample accountability for every decision and outcome. In addition to Roger’s recommendations, I believe it is time we recognise the importance of advertising and supporting all staff to access stretch opportunities and thus, develop the capabilities of all individuals and widen the talent pool.”

Collette Bradford, PDA Director of Organising & Engagement, said “Roger’s message on the ‘collective’ and ‘getting organised’ is exactly what unions do to support members and just one of the reasons why the PDA established our equality networks so that members can have a collective voice at work. Together we can hold leaders’ feet to the fire on equality, diversity and inclusion issues such as discrimination.”


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