PDA launch equality networks on the 10th anniversary of the Equality Act

The PDA has launched three additional Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Networks for their growing membership. The Ability, BAME and LGBT networks will fit alongside the National Association of Women Pharmacists (NAWP), which became part of the PDA in January. The four networks will significantly advance the organisation’s work on equality.

Fri 10th April 2020 The PDA

The new networks are the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Pharmacists Network (BAME Network), Disabled Pharmacists Network (Ability Network) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pharmacists Network (LGBT Network). Each network is now available for PDA members to join.

PDA Director, Paul Day, explained the importance of these networks in the work of the PDA: “Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is a core part of what we do at the PDA. Far too often issues faced by pharmacists in the workplace are caused by discrimination against them due to their race, gender, disability or sexual identity. This is simply not acceptable and thankfully is unlawful too”.

The PDA already help individuals stand up to such treatment through casework support, which is already a core part of what the PDA does to help pharmacists at work, however, PDA will typically only get asked to be involved after the discrimination has already occurred. The EDI networks will provide a structure through which PDA members can work together to proactively tackle discrimination and the causes of discrimination.

Mr Day continued: “In many workplaces Diversity means people of different characteristics are employed, Inclusion means they are all involved. But there can still be inequality. Stopping at D&I isn’t enough and that is why we add Equality to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion. That means as examples: tackling equal pay gaps on gender and ethnicity, it means ensuring people with disability or poor mental health are given reasonable adjustments to give them an equal chance of success and it means working harder to ensure proportionate representation of all protected characteristics in positions of influence.”

The PDA is the largest pharmacists’ membership organisation and the only independent trade union exclusively for pharmacists in the UK. PDA had originally planned to launch all four networks at their 2020 National Conference ‘Shaping the Future: Overcoming the Challenges to Seize the Opportunities’, which was scheduled to take place at the end of March, but fast-tracked the creation of their women’s network when it became clear the existing National Association of Women Pharmacists was at risk of dissolving at the end of last year.

The conference was cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis and so the PDA chose the tenth anniversary of the Equality Act to launch the networks. A video of the launch presentation can be viewed above.

Mr Day concluded: “The PDA exist to be the voice of individual pharmacists and as we have passed 30,000 members we recognise that we need to do even more to ensure that the voice includes all parts of the profession in regard to protected characteristics.  This is an exciting addition to our work.”

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.

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