COVID-19 VACCINATIONS: If, in addition to indemnity for your main employment, you would like cover for delivering COVID-19 Vaccinations please apply for our standalone extension Apply Today

Home   »   Ability Network   »   Allyship


Allyship is about working towards creating diverse and inclusive communities and by standing up for the rights of those who are marginalised. Although you may not be disabled, you can support this group and make the effort to understand their struggle and use your voice alongside theirs.

Allyship is Active Engagement and Action. Allyship is Not Passive Support

  • An ally supports and amplifies the voice of those who are underrepresented and uses their comparative privilege to do so.
  • An ally will help to lift others up by being their advocate.
  • An ally will share opportunities for the growth and development of others.
  • An ally understands and calls out inappropriate actions and language.
  • An ally recognises systematic inequalities and seeks to address them.

Taken from the NHS equality document on Allyship:

Allyship is about building relationships of trust, consistency and accountability with marginalised individuals and/or groups of people.

Although you might not be a member of an underinvested or oppressed group, you can support them and make the effort to understand their struggle and use your voice alongside theirs.

The Dos

Do be open to listening
Do be aware of your implicit biases
Do your research to learn more about the history of the struggle in which you are participating
Do the inner work to figure out a way to acknowledge how you participate in oppressive systems
Do the outer work and figure out how to change the oppressive systems
Do use your privilege to amplify (digitally and in-person) historically suppressed voices
Do learn how to listen and accept criticism with grace, even if it’s uncomfortable
Do the work every day to learn how to be a better ally

The Don’ts

Do not expect to be taught or shown. Take it upon yourself to use the tools around you to learn and answer your questions
Do not participate for the gold medal in the “Oppression Olympics” (you don’t need to compare how your struggle is “just as bad as” a marginalized person’s)
Do not behave as though you know best
Do not take credit for the labour of those who are marginalized and did the work before you stepped into the picture
Do not assume that every member of an underinvested community feels oppressed

Learn more here. 

Books and reading recommended for disabled Allies

  • The Social Model of Disability by TUC Education
  • Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People by Frances Ryan
  • Scapegoat: Why We Are Failing Disabled People by Katharine Quarmby
  • Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century by Alice Wong
  • The War on Disabled People: Capitalism, Welfare and the Making of a Human Catastrophe by Ellen Clifford
  • Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist by Judith Heumann
  • Business Disability Forum
  • The Government’s Disability Confident Scheme for Employers
  • Better Allies: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces by Karen Catlin
  • Diversify – Six Degrees of Integration by June Sarpong


Please tweet PDA #PDAability with any books you would recommend to Allies.

Daniela Rusalim, Vice-President of NAWP, said:

“A person’s disability doesn’t define them, but it is an important part of their identity, and their uniqueness contributes to a diverse world.  Oliver Sacks once said that people with disabilities, mental or physical, are not a hinderance – if given the right opportunities, they can demonstrate how their unique attributes represent powerful assets. Yet people with disabilities do not get the support and recognition they deserve. The employment rate is 30% lower amongst people with disabilities compared to their non-disabled colleagues, and this situation occurs despite strong legal protection from discrimination within the Equality Act 2010.

A recent survey, commissioned by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, showed that 56% of pharmacists thought that more should be done to support pharmacists with disabilities. This is why, as a non-disabled person, I want to strongly position myself as an ally to people with disabilities and bring my contribution to spread awareness and influence employers to take action to create a more equal, diverse and inclusive workplace.”

Get involved

Pledge to be an ally on social media #PDAability – “I pledge to be a PDA Ability ally because…

Contact the Ability network:

All contact with the network will be treated in confidence and with sensitivity.

Join the Ability Network today

Pharmacists, pharmacy students and trainee can join the PDA now. Membership is FREE for students and trainees.

Join the PDA today





The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

Cookie Use

This website uses cookies to help us provide the best user experience. If you continue browsing you are giving your consent to our use of cookies.

General Guidance Resources Surveys PDA Campaigns Regulations Locums Indemnity Arrangements Pre-Regs & Students FAQs Coronavirus (COVID-19)