There are currently fourteen women sitting on the National Pharmacy Boards of England, Wales and Scotland, including Suzanne Scott-Thomas and Cheryl Way as Chair and Vice Chair of the Welsh Pharmacy Board, Sandra Gidley, the President of the RPS and a member of the English Pharmacy Board and Professor Claire Anderson as the Chair of the English Pharmacy Board.
The experiences of women board members span community pharmacy like Kathleen Cowle, Thorrun Govind and Sibby Buckle, Sandra Gidley academic pharmacy like Dr Anne Boyter and Professor Claire Anderson and hospital pharmacy like Jodie Gwenter and Suzanne Scott Thomas. The Women board members use their experiences to represent and advocate for pharmacists working today like Sibby Buckle who draws on her work in community pharmacy management, Tracey Thornley as a member of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) executive committee and Claire Anderson as a trustee of the Commonwealth Pharmacy Association and an Associate Director of FIP workforce development hub.
These different experiences and perspectives bring different skills and knowledge to the national boards, such as Dr Ailsa Power’s work at NHS Education for Scotland Pharmacy and Professor Tracy Thornley’s work supporting community pharmacy contract frameworks across the UK and now on secondment to the government’s Joint Biosecurity centre . Deborah Stafford supports subject specialisms while Thorrun Govind uses her experience to represent early career pharmacists.
Some are new to the profession like Tamara Cairney who brings experience as a student champion, while others like Ruth Mitchell tutor pre-registration trainees, students and pharmacy technicians.
There is still work to be done to ensure that diverse and intersectional voices are heard throughout the profession, but the increasing representation of women on the National Pharmacy Boards shows how far women have come in the profession since the earliest days of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.