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Home  »   National Association of Women PharmacistsLatest News   »   NAWP Newsletter – January 2023

NAWP Newsletter – January 2023

In this January update, read about NAWP's affiliation with The Fawcett Society. Also, learn about NHS England's new guidance on supporting people through menopause, along with new eating disorder learning for community pharmacy teams.

Mon 30th January 2023 The PDA

Welcome to the NAWP January 2023 Newsletter

In this issue:

  • Pregnant pharmacists: know your rights!
  • NAWP affiliate to The Fawcett Society
  • NHS England publish guidance for line managers and colleagues on supporting NHS people through menopause
  • New online eating disorder learning for community pharmacy teams
  • Why I joined NAWP as a male pharmacist
  • In case you missed it…
  • Get involved today


Pregnant pharmacists: know your rights!

By Ayah Abbass, Clinical pharmacist and President of the PDA NAWP Network

I recently attended a webinar on protecting pregnant workers and new mums by TUC Education. Being pregnant can be very difficult as you are full of anxiety and worry. Employers need to take responsibility to ensure pregnant workers are comfortable and not at harm at work. Most importantly, pregnancy discrimination shouldn’t exist in the workplace or anywhere.

Did you know that once an employee is pregnant, the employer needs to undertake a risk assessment for their role to ensure safety? There is a range of toolkits and resources you can refer to in order to know your rights as a pregnant worker.

Maternity Action is a brilliant charity dedicated to promoting, protecting, and enhancing pregnant women’s rights. I understand sometimes it can be very difficult to speak up at work and challenge your employer, but when you have the resources and understand what your basic entitlements are, then you can feel better prepared.

As the President of NAWP, I aim to create a safe space for women and for their voices to be heard. As a pharmacist, you can be standing up on your feet all day which is very challenging for most of us, but imagine for pregnant women! If anyone has a story to share or has faced pregnancy discrimination, please reach out.

I think we need to work together to create a better space for female pharmacists. I don’t want to be looked at differently because potentially I might have kids in the future and that might challenge me at work. Employers need to identify ways to help us women thrive and empower us instead of causing limitations. Working from home and flexible working can make a positive impact. Let’s empower, encourage, and educate each other.

Learn more


NAWP affiliate to The Fawcett Society

By Jayne Love, PDA Organiser and Lead on Equalities 

The Fawcett Society is the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights at work, at home and in public life. Their vision is a society in which women and girls in all their diversity are equal and truly free to fulfil their potential, which will create a stronger, happier, better future for everyone.
In particular, The Fawcett Society lead the UK’s Equal Pay campaign and they offer an Equal Pay Advice Service for those whose gross income is £30,000 per year or less and who do not have access to legal advice.

The PDA NAWP Network has affiliated with The Fawcett Society in order to:

  • Demonstrate commitment to gender equality
  • Add pharmacists’ voices and views to the wider equality movement
  • Contribute to research
  • Partner with Fawcett on key campaigns.

Affiliation to The Fawcett Society means that NAWP will be able to share reports and publications with members and there will be opportunities to get involved with their campaigns and research. Other benefits include access to events.

Naina Chotai, Immediate Past President of the PDA NAWP Network said, “We are really excited for NAWP to affiliate with The Fawcett Society to further our vision for a gender-equal profession. This will allow us to be part of a wider group where we will be able to add not just NAWP members’ views and concerns but also those from our BAME, LGBT+, and disabled members in order to achieve a pharmacy sector where all women in all their diversities are equal.”

The PDA is affiliated to several wider groups because, just as individuals achieve more by joining together as a Trade Union, we can achieve more by working together.

Learn more


NHS England publish guidance for line managers and colleagues on supporting NHS people through menopause

By Naina Chotai, Community and locum pharmacist and Immediate Past President of the PDA NAWP Network

PDA NAWP is delighted to highlight this NHS guidance which comes at the right time for pharmacy organisations working towards supporting colleagues experiencing menopause at work.

It serves to inform all managers responsible for staff to have:

• A better understanding of what menopause is
• Key information on how to support people via open and receptive conversations
• Much better understanding to support staff managing the effects of the menopause transition at work.

Jayne Love, PDA Organiser and Lead on Equalities said, “The menopause is not just an issue for female colleagues, it is an intersectional issue which is of relevance to our LGBT+ members as well as to NAWP. I am delighted to see that this new guidance from NHS England includes a section on transgender, non-binary, and intersex staff and the menopause. Additionally, the guidance explains how we can support colleagues, which is useful to everyone regardless of their identity, as we all know someone who is going through the menopause and can play our part to help those experiencing it.”

Learn more 


New online eating disorder learning for community pharmacy teams 

By Jayne Love, PDA Organiser and Lead on Equalities

Approximately 700,000 people in the UK have an eating disorder, 90% of whom are female. Read Molly Smith’s story in a previous NAWP newsletter here.

HEE has worked in partnership with NHS England and the charity Beat to create a suite of eating disorder learning materials for health and care staff. The suite now contains training materials to raise awareness of eating disorders, specifically for dietitians, oral health teams, and community pharmacy teams, which take the form of a series of pre-recorded webinars.

There are three eating disorder webinars for each professional group, which are delivered by a healthcare professional who outlines individuals’ lived experiences in varied settings.

The webinars also direct the learner to further reading and also reflect the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ new Medical Emergencies in Eating Disorders (MEED) guidance.

Each webinar takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and can be undertaken at the learner’s own pace.

Ayah Abbass, President of the PDA NAWP Network said, “This is a very important topic which we need to educate ourselves on as it can have a drastic effect on people’s lives as well as their families. Eating disorders can affect anyone, but the percentage is higher for women. When I came across Molly’s story on the Fresh Starts podcast by Stacey Dooley, I thought pharmacists don’t get the correct training to help patients, and this needs to change. I can proudly say that NAWP and many pharmacists have helped input into the development of this toolkit through completing a survey created by Beat. We will carry on increasing awareness and help educate pharmacists to help patients suffering with eating disorders.”

Learn more 


Why I joined NAWP as a male pharmacist

By Muhammad Siddiqur Rahman, GP Pharmacist Prescriber and PDA Union Regional Committee Member for Primary Care, South East

From the latest data in May 2022, just over 62% of all UK-registered pharmacists in the GPhC register are female, which is a significant amount of the workforce in pharmacy. Therefore, any issues that arise within the pharmacy profession will require all pharmacists to take this into consideration and be inclusive, amongst other factors, when trying to find solutions.
Working as a GP practice-based pharmacist as well as a part-time locum community pharmacist for over a decade, I have developed strong networks with many pharmacists through my role as a PDA Union Rep and a director of The Pharmacist Cooperative. I have come across many female pharmacists who have faced inequalities when applying for senior leadership roles within their workplace, despite their extensive experience, as well as significant pay gap differences for doing the same job as a male pharmacist.

As a male ally of NAWP, I wanted to amplify my voice to female pharmacists that are being underrepresented, to say that they are not alone, and to raise awareness within my networks and social media platforms to understand their struggles and hopefully lift others up by being their advocate.

I also attended a NAWP webinar about equal pay and how to overcome bias and take action. I’ve learnt that a female worker can choose a male comparator if she believes that she is carrying out equal work to a male worker, which is relevant and relatable in pharmacy.

Whenever I get called upon to do a pharmacy-related panel or webinar with multiple pharmacists, I now ensure that there is at least one female pharmacist alongside me, where available. I have done webinars with only male pharmacists before, which depends on the topic being discussed and their experience, expertise, and availability. However, recently I have accepted that as a male ally, I must consciously try to invite other female pharmacists to prevent ‘manels’, so that women can highlight their issues and have the opportunity to shine and grow, so that we can all learn together and unite the profession.

Learn more 


In case you missed it…

  • May was Fibromyalgia Awareness Month, and to raise awareness of this condition, NAWP launched a factsheet. To view the factsheet please click here.
  • NAWP supported the 16th European Women Pharmacists Meeting, which was held in September.
  • In August 2022, NAWP elected a new committee. Meet the new committee here.
  • A further historic moment occurred last year as the final stage of the transfer of NAWP into the PDA was concluded. Read more here.
  • President of NAWP, Ayah Abbass, and Immediate Past President of NAWP, Naina Chotai discussed violence and abuse against women.
  • Learn more about the new President of NAWP, Ayah Abbass, here.
  • Following Equal Pay Day 2022, NAWP hosted two informative Equal Pay events online during December.


Get involved today

  • Join NAWP’s Facebook group here.
  • Follow NAWP on Instagram here.
  • Use #PDAnawp on all social media platforms to post on issues relevant to women pharmacists and to suggest recommended reading for allies of the network.
  • Join the WhatsApp group here.
  • Contact the committee by emailing
  • About NAWP









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