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NAWP Newsletter – August 2020

Welcome to the latest issue of the NAWP newsletter - the quarterly mailing that keeps you up-to-date on news, events and issues that relate to women in pharmacy.

Wed 26th August 2020 The PDA

NAWP election results announced 

Thank you to everyone that took part in the 2020 NAWP (National Association of Women Pharmacists) elections. We are pleased to announce that Naina Chotai has been elected as this year’s President of NAWP.  Naina runs a consultancy providing professional support to independent pharmacist-owners in London and the South East and is also a PDA Union South East England Regional Committee Member.

Naina is the 48th person to be elected into the role since NAWP was founded in 1905, and the first to be in the role since the association became a part of the PDA, earlier this year.

Naina said: “I am honoured to have been elected to the role of president of NAWP. Together with the rest of the talented elected team, we will work to advance gender equality and to empower women pharmacists to realise their full potential. As the president of the NAWP network, I will work tirelessly to raise the profile of women pharmacists, by being educationally, socially and politically active.”


Daniela Rusalim, a community pharmacist in Peterborough, was elected as Vice-President of NAWP.

Daniela said: “I am deeply grateful to be elected Vice President of the National Association of Women Pharmacists, a position that will allow me to continue my advocacy to promote gender equality and support family-friendly working practices. I’m humbled that I have the opportunity to work alongside Naina, Eilidh and other amazing people to establish a strong agenda focused on advancing women’s initiatives, increasing our association’s visibility and helping it become the largest and most influential organisation for women pharmacists in the UK.”

Eilidh Milliken, a hospital pharmacist in Edinburgh, was elected as NAWP’s Honorary Secretary.


Eilidh said: “I feel honoured to represent a network which resonates with me both personally and professionally. I look forward to working to elevate the voices of all those who identify as women within our profession and will strive for equility across genders for all communities and the patients we serve.”

Congratulations to Naina, Daniela and Eilidh!

Learn more: Naina Chotai elected as the 48th President of NAWP

Get involved: Have your say on the direction of NAWP by completing this short survey

PDA attend Equal Pay 50 event

By Daniela Rusalim, NAWP Vice-President and PDA Union Representative (East of England)

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act 1970, PDA Union representatives for Boots – Nicola Rees and Daniela Rusalim, alongside PDA Director Paul Day, proudly took part in the online conference organised by the Equality Trust on Friday 29 May 2020.

The conference was entitled ‘Equal Pay 50’.

The Equal Pay Act came into force on 29 May 1970 and aimed to prevent discrimination between men and women’s pay and other terms and conditions of employment. The equal pay principles derived from this act have been updated in the Equality Act 2010, and a statutory code of practice from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The Equality Trust, a committed advocate for change, called for full pay transparency of pay structures and released a report into pay discrimination in the FTSE 100 entitled ‘Fifty Years is Long Enough: A Report by The Equality Trust into Unlawful Pay Discrimination.’

Prominent speakers at the online conference included Wanda Wyporska, Dame Moya Greene, Professor Geraldine Healy, Dr Jo Grady and Tom Schuller. The conference highlighted that fifty years after the passage of the Equality Pay Act 1970, women are still undervalued in their roles and are still having to fight for equal pay. They called for the onus to be on the employers to prove that there is no pay discrimination and proposed ways to support the younger generation to fight for equality.

One of the most exciting moments of the event was the breakout group discussion, where 8 participants took part in separate discussions on various equality topics. PDA Director Paul Day facilitated one of the group discussions that reflected on unequal pay as being a symptom rather than an issue. Daniela Rusalim highlighted how the motherhood penalty – women’s decision to care for children early in their careers – has a long-term impact on women’s pay and greatly contributes to the gender pay gap.

Other topics brought up in group discussions were the vertical networks that create vicious circles with men occupying the upper circles, women’s caring responsibilities for children and the elderly, and the need for companies to voluntarily disclose gender gaps and propose an action plan to address their pay gaps.

The Equal Pay 50 event was relevant, well organised and drove a large online attendance. The PDA proudly took part in this event, continues to be aligned with the principles of equality, and is fully committed to addressing inequality within the pharmacy profession.

Learn more: Read the Equality Trust’s report about unlawful pay discrimination
Get involved: Sign up to the Equality Trust’s mailing list to be notified about the #EqualPay50 campaign

The impact of the coronavirus on women at work

By Jyoti Mattu, PDA Legal Advisor

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we travel, socialise and work. As frontline workers, pharmacists have continued to provide a vital service to the public with changes in practices to reduce the risk of contraction. During this difficult time, the PDA has been assisting members through these heightened risks, and none more so than female pharmacists.

Government guidance on 16 March 2020 advised all pregnant woman to socially distance, take measures to work from home, avoid public transport and all social gatherings. Pregnant pharmacists continued to put themselves at risk by continuing to work and interact with the public, yet many female pharmacists were being sent home with uncertain pay and lack of employment security. Government guidance simply stated that the only support available was Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), and in many cases, pregnant pharmacists were left with the following options: take SSP, use their annual leave or start maternity leave early.

Throughout the pandemic, the PDA stood with members to argue that this was unfair and should not be deemed as SSP, but instead as medical suspension, in line with the S.64 Employment Rights Act 1996.

When the UK went into full lockdown, school closures caused problems for those requiring childcare. Until the furlough scheme was developed, emergency time off for dependants remained as unpaid leave, and in many cases, individuals were taking unpaid leave or using annual leave to cover this time off. During this trying time, the PDA issued fact sheets outlining options available to members and allowed those with caring responsibilities and pregnant employees to receive full pay through furlough or medical suspension.

Learn more: BBC worklife article on how COVID-19 is changing women’s lives
Get involved: Keep up-to-date with the coronavirus and the PDA

Women and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals

By Jayne Love, PDA Organiser and Lead on Equalities – Coordinator of NAWP

The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to achieve a future that is better and more sustainable for everybody. The goals are interconnected and address the challenges we face globally, including justice, peace, inequality, poverty, environmental degeneration and climate change.
The UN hope that these goals will be achieved by 2030, and believe that they are now more relevant than ever amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The UN advocate that the COVID-19 crisis should ‘spur us to accelerate and deepen our efforts during this Decade of Action to ‘recover better’, and build a healthier, safer, fairer and a more prosperous world, so necessary in avoiding future pandemics.’

The 5th SDG is of particular interest to NAWP, as it is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Below are some sobering facts about women around the world:

  • 49 countries do not have any laws to protect women from domestic violence
  • 1 in 5 women and girls under the age of 50 will have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner within the last 12 months
  • At least 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • 15 million girls under the age of 18 are forced into marriage every year
  • Only 52% of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care
  • 39 countries prohibit equal inheritance rights for daughters and sons
  • Women do 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work than men
  • Women hold just 23.7% of parliamentary seats

Whilst women’s equality and empowerment are only one of the 17 SDGs, it is integral to all dimensions of development that are inclusive and sustainable, so all the SDGs depend on the achievement of this goal.

Learn more: Find out more about the UN’s 5th SDG to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Get involved: Subscribe to the UN Women’s email list to stay informed and keep up-to-date with their campaigns.

Maternity leave and GPhC registration fees

By Bharat Nathwani, PDA Policy Officer

The current annual GPhC registration fee is £257. This can be a significant burden for a registrant taking maternity or parental leave. The demographics of the pharmacist workforce has changed considerably over the last 2 decades and 62% of the current pharmacist workforce is female. The GPhC 2019 registrant survey indicated that around 9% of pharmacists had taken either maternity leave, extended maternity leave or paternity in the previous 12 months:

So, the question arises on whether pharmacists should be allowed to pay a reduced registration fee were they to take either maternity or paternity leave. Other regulators such as the GDC, NMC, GOC and GMC have no provision for reduced fees for maternal/parental leave. However, the recent GPhC fees consultation did pose the question of whether there should be reduced fees for certain groups of registrants, for example, those on parental leave.

Whilst we could not support such a blanket proposal, as the administrative costs and revenue loss would be significant, the PDA would support a waived parental leave fee. This would apply for only one year (the year of birth or the following year) and would only apply to one registrant if both parents were registered pharmacists. The waived fee would be automatic and applied to the registrant supplying a valid MAT B1 certificate or a birth certificate to the GPhC.

This would be administratively straightforward for the GPhC to implement and is also gender-neutral.

Learn more: See the full GPhC survey results of registered pharmacy professionals 2019
Get involved: Learn about financial assistance available for parents and babies with this information from Maternity Action.

The Health & Care Women Leaders Network

By Jessica Gregson, part of the Health & Care Women Leaders Network team

The Health & Care Women Leaders Network is free to join for women working across the health and care sector. It is delivered by the NHS Confederation.
The network was established in 2015 and has grown to include around fifteen hundred senior and aspiring women leaders. Network members connect through events, masterclasses and tweet chats, and share learning through podcasts, blogs, videos and key reports.

The network aims to be a strong, united and influential voice for women, embracing the multiple and intersectional identities that the word woman speaks to, engaging with senior male and female leaders across health and social care, and raising the profile of the network and growing membership.

In September 2018, we surveyed our network members and from their responses, we established our priorities for the next three years. These are:

  • mentoring and coaching
  • talent management
  • flexible working
  • gender pay
  • women on boards – 50:50 by 2020.

The network continues to push for equal gender representation across senior positions in the health and care sector. Supported by NHS Employers, the network commissioned a research project to progress the work started in the 2017 NHS Women on Boards: 50:50 by 2020 report, which examined the steps the NHS needed to take to reach the target of equal gender representation on boards by 2020.

Professor Ruth Sealy, the author of the 2017 report, is leading the new research project which comprises an update on the 2017 report figures, case studies of successfully diversified boards, an investigation into the lack of female medical directors, and an investigation into the lack of female CFOs. The new report is expected to launch in September.

Learn more: Find out more about the network and how you can become a member.
Get involved: Follow the network on Twitter @hcwomenleaders and LinkedIn.




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