A century of the National Association of Women Pharmacists

Princess Anne visits NAWP

By 1912, Margaret Buchanan claimed that the Association of Women Pharmacists "included practically every woman practising pharmacy". In 1918, the committee recognised that there was definite interest beyond London, and branches were established in other cities. The association became the National Association of Women Pharmacists in the same year.

NAWP has maintained its original objectives throughout the century, and applied them to contemporary issues. In 1923 the association established a loan scheme to "afford assistance to members of the Association in cases of distress, illness or other emergency." In the same year, the association joined the women’s employment federation. During the Second World War, the association’s employment bureau worked closely with the central pharmaceutical war committee to help place women pharmacists. NAWP’s first weekend conference was held in 1967 and one of its aims, to help married women pharmacists to return to work, continued as an important objective. In 1991, the NAWP Women in Pharmacy pack was published as a careers guide for all pharmacists. Then 1999 saw the launch of a mentoring scheme to provide careers support for peers.

Today NAWP members meet both nationally and regionally to discuss topics of professional interest. A regular newsletter, and a programme of conferences and study days keeps members informed on professional matters and on developments in employment trends. The association is also a voice of pharmacy in the wider arena of women’s affairs, with links to bodies such as the Women Returners Network, the Women’s National Commission, and the Association of Women in Science and Engineering.