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Home  »   National Association of Women PharmacistsBAMELGBT+AbilityLatest News   »   PDA celebrates reaching over 1,500 members across four equality networks in the first year

PDA celebrates reaching over 1,500 members across four equality networks in the first year

The PDA is celebrating reaching more than 1,500 memberships across the organisation’s four equality networks within the first year of their activity, demonstrating the importance to pharmacists of equality at work.

Mon 4th January 2021 The PDA

The PDA opened the first of four equality networks on 1 January 2020, when it relaunched the National Association of Women Pharmacists (NAWP). That 100-year-old organisation had been in decline and was at risk of disappearing, but since its relaunch as part of the PDA, it now has more than 700 members.

In April 2020, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Equality Act, the PDA added three additional Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Networks for their growing membership. The Ability, BAME and LGBT+ networks are each inclusive and open to those with the protected characteristics concerned as well as for those who actively support working that strand of equality, colleagues known as “Allies”. The murder of George Floyd in the US, significantly raised the profile of race inequality around the globe and this may be partly what has driven membership of the PDA BAME pharmacists network to in excess of 500 members within 6 months. Elections for the first President and other officers of the BAME pharmacists network recently took place and the results were announced in December.

Overall, the four networks have a combined total of over 1,500 members and are growing from strength to strength. In March 2020, NAWP held an event to mark International Women’s Day. After this event, the pandemic arrived and put an end to meeting face-to-face but there has still been plenty of activity across all of the networks with regular communications including newsletters, and virtual meetings have also taken place. Further, NAWP produced a leaflet on the menopause to coincide with World Menopause Day. As the networks continue to grow and become more established with their own committees, this activity, led by members, will further increase.

Naina Chotai was elected as the new President of NAWP in August 2020 and explains the impact of the networks: ”The PDA has not only prevented NAWP from ending, but refreshed the activity of the network for future generations. I am honoured to be the first BAME president of NAWP and to be a founding member of the PDA equalities council.”

The newly elected President of the BAME Pharmacists’ Network, Elsy Gomez Campos, said: “There is a need to highlight the experiences of members suffering intersectional discrimination. Working in collaboration with the other PDA networks will provide a unique opportunity to understand the challenges faced by members with ‘protected characteristics.’ It will also allow us to propose solutions that go beyond talk. We have a responsibility to hold our profession to account for practices that put some pharmacists at a disadvantage and the PDA has created four wonderful platforms from where we can do just that.”

Naina and Elsy will be joined in time by the Presidents of the LGBT+ and Ability Networks, who will be elected later in 2021.

The equalities council will bring together the four networks to learn from each other and address intersectional discrimination, which is where inequality may occur due to a combination of characteristics, for example for Black Women.

Jayne Love, PDA Organiser and Lead on Equalities, remarked: “There is a lot of work to be done within pharmacy in terms of raising awareness of equalities issues for pharmacists and their patients, but the creation of the PDA’s four networks is the first positive step towards this goal. We can work together to advance equality across the pharmacy profession and in wider society.”

PDA Director Paul Day explained the PDA approach: “Tackling inequality and its causes comes naturally to trade unions and our objectives and our day to day work have always included working for equality for all and to eliminate all forms of harassment, prejudice and unfair discrimination.

Too many networks only go as far as promoting inclusion and diversity and don’t actually tackle the issues of inequality. We are clear that Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) are the three aspects that each need attention. With our four networks focussed on each of the main areas of workplace discrimination, PDA members are extremely well placed to make a positive difference to this important part of working as a pharmacist.”







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