PDA’s IWD event hosted by NAWP highlights the benefits of joining a trade union and campaigning for equality

PDA’s first International Women’s Day (IWD) event took place on Wednesday 11 March and was an opportunity for members, reps and colleagues to come together and discuss some of the issues affecting women in pharmacy.

Mon 16th March 2020 The PDA

The event was hosted by the newly relaunched National Association of Women Pharmacists (NAWP), which is now a network of the PDA with over 350 members.

“We are delighted to welcome some of the past presidents and executive members of the original NAWP, we stand upon your shoulders as we face together the issues impacting women pharmacists today,” said Collette Bradford, Head of Organising & Engagement at the PDA. “International Women’s Day (IWD) is not just a day, it’s a movement of ‘Individual Collectivism’ where women around the world commit to individual acts that collectively progress equality”.

Collette continued: “There is a great deal of work being done, stereotypes and bias are being challenged and a more diverse representation of women is more evident in our society. Women are demanding equal pay for equal work and we are campaigning to change equal pay legislation #RightToKnow (Fawcett Society) and to eradicate sexual harassment in the workplace (TUC) by demanding employers take proactive reasonable steps to protect workers.”

Jayne Love, Organiser at the PDA gave an informative presentation around the over 115-year history and heritage of NAWP, the aims of the network and their mission. “We plan to send a survey to all NAWP members to find out what issues are important to you. We will also be working to develop the network, empowering members to be more active and encouraging people to join and celebrate the successes of the network.”

Helen Lewis, PDA Union Regional Official (Wales and the West) delivered a presentation on the Fawcett Society – UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights at work, at home and in public life. The society is leading the work on a new Equal Pay Bill.

Helen highlighted the following:

  • Research from the University of Birmingham (2019) showed that 65% of all pharmacists are female, yet 64% of men occupy senior roles in pharmacy.
  • Only 1/3 of working people know that women have a right to ask male colleagues about their salary if they suspect discrimination.
  • In most workplaces people do not talk openly about what they earn – only 24% of people talk about their pay at work.
  • Unequal pay is illegal and has been for 50 years, but many people in pharmacy don’t know that they are not receiving equal pay because they are too polite to talk about money.

NAWP members at the event were encouraged to get involved, learn more about the Fawcett Society on their website and support the #RightToKnow” campaign.

“Once you see the inequality in pharmacy, you can’t unsee it. It makes you realise that we are not all equal yet. Unless we start shouting about the campaign more and making people aware of it, things won’t change.” said Helen.

The event included a pledge activity where members and reps pledged to act on the things most important to them, from the IWD2020 Missions.

“One IWD Mission that will be important to our pharmacist members is Mission 4: To assist women to be in a position of power for making informed decisions about their health. This is where our pharmacist members can make a real tangible difference. Many women can lead high-pressure lives, particularly when it comes to managing a career and family. Yet health is important, not just for themselves, but for the success of our wider society and the economy. Health complications that are more common in women include heart disease, breast cancer, autoimmune diseases, depression and anxiety.  Our pharmacist members can help to empower and support women to achieve balance for a healthier life and educate them on health issues,” added Collette Bradford.

During the opportunity for questions, one of the NAWP members asked about the inequality within the Health Sector with regards to the role of pharmacists and the view of the public.

Collette answered: “The PDA and our members strongly promote the role of pharmacists encouraging other health professions and our communities to value the role of pharmacists in the healthcare system and together we can continue to challenge those stereotypes. The PDA’s Wider than Medicine policy clearly outlines a strategy to raise awareness of the true value of the pharmaceutical care provided by pharmacists as part of a joined-up healthcare system; the integrated approach challenges inequality and outlines more collaborative relationships in all areas of community healthcare, resulting in better outcomes for patients and stakeholders. The PDA staff working with our reps in key employers, aim to ensure fairness and raise both the status and pay of pharmacists across the sector.”

Learn more

Get involved

If you would like to get involved, create your own pledge around the IWD2020 Missions and share it with us on social media.

Facebook: @PharmacistsDefenceAssociation

Twitter: @the_pda

Instagram: @pharmacistsdefenceassociation

You can Sign the Fawcett Society petition for women to have the #RightToKnow here.

 

 

 

 

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