COVID-19 VACCINATIONS: If, in addition to indemnity for your main employment, you would like cover for delivering COVID-19 Vaccinations please apply for our standalone extension Apply Today

Home  »   LGBT+Latest News   »   PDA LGBT+ Network committee member wins trade union equality award

PDA LGBT+ Network committee member wins trade union equality award

Fife-based trainee pharmacist and Honorary Secretary of the PDA LGBT+ Network, Soh Xi Ken has won the Scottish Trades Union Congress' (STUC) Equality Award.

Sat 29th April 2023 The PDA

One of Scotland’s leading LGBT+ campaigners and Honorary Secretary of the PDA’s LGBT+ Network has been recognised for his advocacy work for LGBT+ pharmacists in Scotland.

Soh Xi Ken of the PDA received the Equality Award at the STUC Annual Congress this month in Dundee. The award praised Xi Ken’s tireless advocacy for LGBT+ workers within pharmacies in Scotland, highlighting his personal experience of homophobia in Scotland and his home country, Malaysia.

In May 2021, Xi Ken became a founding member of the PDA LGBT+ Network’s committee and was elected as their first Honorary Secretary. The PDA LGBT+ Network is the first of its kind in the pharmacy world and has made a significant difference to the profile of LGBT+ people in the profession.

Xi Ken and others within the PDA LGBT+ Network spotted that there was a lack of LGBT+-specific guidance given to pharmacy students and that their unique and specific health needs were not being addressed as part of the pharmacy education that they received.

Xi Ken, who was presented the Equality Award by the First Minister of Scotland, Humza Yousaf at the Congress, coordinated the #LGBTplusMPharm initiative. Liaising with the GPhC (the pharmacy profession’s regulator), the Pharmacy Schools Council, and individual universities, he raised awareness of the need for inclusive education and worked to help pharmacy schools embed LGBT+ inclusion within their teaching and learning.

Xi Ken said, “It’s a great privilege to have received the STUC Equality Award with all praise and gratitude going to my colleagues within the Pharmacists Defence Association.

It has been an honour to fight for LGBT+ rights within the pharmacy sector. When we all come together, trade unionists can make real changes in workplaces, industries, and in communities.

That’s precisely why I’m a proud member of the PDA. We’re seeking to root out discrimination in all its forms within the sector, leaving no stone unturned in our collective fight for fairness and equality throughout Scotland’s pharmacies.”

STUC General Secretary, Roz Foyer said, “Right across Scotland, in every sector of the economy, our reps and shop stewards are the face of our trade union movement in our workplaces and in our communities.  Our annual Union Rep Awards celebrate these stalwarts and all those who have gone above and beyond this past year.

This year was no exception and Xi Ken thoroughly deserves his recognition as the recipient of the Equality Award for 2023.

He is a driven and dedicated proponent of equality and has been a key component in the campaign to ask the UK Pharmacy Schools Council (PhSC) to include, and be more inclusive of, LGBT+ health issues in the curriculum.

Our reps are the lifeblood of our movement; an incredible force for good in helping others in need. Every single one of them deserves an award for the amazing work that they do and they have my utmost praise as they ingrain trade union values throughout their workplaces.”

SUL Director, Wendy Burton said, “I am delighted that Soh Xi Ken of the Pharmacists Defence Association has received our Equality Award. His exceptional work in raising awareness of the need for inclusive education, and in helping pharmacy schools embed LGBT+ inclusion within their teaching and learning, demonstrate his passion and commitment to improving equality in an extremely challenging environment.”

Soh Xi Ken is a very deserving winner of this award, and I wish him all the best as he continues to campaign and advocate for LGBT+ pharmacists across Scotland.”

Trainee pharmacist and Honorary Secretary of the PDA LGBT+ Network, Soh Xi Ken being presented with the STUC’s Equality Award by First Minister of Scotland, Humza Yousaf

PDA National Officer for Scotland, Paul Flynn and trainee pharmacist and Honorary Secretary of the PDA LGBT+ Network, Soh Xi Ken were interviewed by the STUC discussing Xi Ken’s time at the PDA. Xi Ken also takes about the challenges he faced while studying pharmacy.

Watch the interview here

Get involved

  • Join the PDA LGBT+ Network here.
  • Those who would like to get involved with the network and its activities, please email
  • Follow the PDA LGBT+ Network on social media using the hashtag #PDAlgbt.

Learn more

Not yet a PDA member? 

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists, and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.








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.

Cookie Use

This website uses cookies to help us provide the best user experience. If you continue browsing you are giving your consent to our use of cookies.

General Guidance Resources Surveys PDA Campaigns Regulations Locums Indemnity Arrangements Pre-Regs & Students FAQs Coronavirus (COVID-19)