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NAWP ‘Women Leading in Pharmacy’ event hailed a great success

On Saturday 13 March, NAWP hosted an online event to mark International Women’s Day. The UN theme for 2021 was Women in Leadership: achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world, so the event focused on Women Leading in Pharmacy.

Fri 19th March 2021 The PDA

NAWP invited four women in different roles within pharmacy to talk about their careers, how they got into their positions, what advice they would give to others aspiring to their roles and the importance of role models and allies in addressing discrimination, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The event ran alongside the campaign theme #ChooseToChallenge, as we can all choose to call out gender bias and inequality to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements, and to work together to help create an inclusive world.

The first guest speaker, Rena Amin, holds corporate, clinical, and mentoring roles and has received an RPS Fellowship for being instrumental in developing the role of clinical pharmacists in general practice. Rena said: “Credit to PDA NAWP to provide a platform for celebrating International Women’s Day and sharing the contribution women make to the pharmacy profession. It is at events such as these that women provide allyship to each other and inspire others to reach their potential and make a significant contribution to patient care.”

The second guest speaker, Dr Leyla Hannbeck, is the CEO of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIM). She said: “There are so many inspirational women across the pharmacy profession and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing a platform with some of them at the PDA NAWP event, along with my story. Our profession is stronger when we are united, and alongside our male colleagues we can fly the flag for pharmacy and inspire the next generation of pharmacists to be proud of the important role they play in the healthcare landscape.”

The third guest speaker, Lauren Gibson, is the Lead Pharmacist of Addiction Treatment and Recovery Care Services and Prison Healthcare, NHS Lothian. Her motto is “the harder you work, the luckier you get.” During the event, she advised NAWP members to have confidence in themselves and to accept their uniqueness as a strength, because being different is good.

The fourth guest speaker, Eilidh Milliken, is a Hospital Pharmacist and Homeless Outreach Pharmacist in Scotland, as well as being NAWP’s Honorary Secretary. Her advice to NAWP members was “Always take opportunities, allow your skills to develop, don’t be scared to try new things, and have faith in yourself and your own professionalism.”

There was an opportunity at the event to ask the speakers questions. These were posted by NAWP member Nicola Rees and NAWP Vice-President Daniela Rusalim. Aneesa Ahmed, PDA pre-reg representative, had assisted prior to the event in gathering some of these questions from other pre-regs. Sherifat Muhammad Kamal, NAWP member and Vice-President of the BAME Network, also helped out in the run-up to the event.

Ayah Abbass, NAWP Member and Community Pharmacist said: “This was honestly one of the best events I have ever attended. I feel so inspired and motivated now!”

Clive Cheshire supported the event behind the scenes in his capacity as an IT Support Engineer but had not anticipated the positive impact this would have on him. Clive said: “Thank you to NAWP for giving me the opportunity to assist in the Women Leading in Pharmacy event. Our guest speakers were brilliant in sharing their experiences and the advice they gave. After listening to their shared experiences, it has inspired me to double my efforts to help bring more women into my industry – Information Technology. One of the speakers, in particular, inspired me to think about not just what I can do now, but to be mindful of how I can make the differences they have already started to achieve in the future. Many thanks again to the guest speakers and the team behind the event.”

NAWP President Naina Chotai chaired the event. Naina said: “We were privileged to hear from four inspiring pharmacists in our ‘Women Leading in Pharmacy’ event. All four speakers have chosen to challenge the norm and have excelled to leadership roles in their pharmacy careers. Our leading pharmacists were open and honest about the challenges they faced but cited ‘belief in yourself’ and ‘finding your own tribe’ to remain motivated in their journeys. The rewards each of our pharmacists have achieved is an inspiration to all established pharmacists as well as to those embarking on their career journey.”

Learn more about NAWP here. 


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