Today we’re publishing our plan on Inclusion and Diversity – a strategy for pharmacy 2020-2025.
We’re committed to making inclusion and diversity (I&D) central to the way we champion the pharmacy profession - to celebrate and encourage diverse voices across pharmacy. Our aim is to be truly representative of our members and our patients, creating a workplace in which everyone feels they can be themselves and thrive.
COVID19 has had a disproportionate impact on our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic patients, friends, families and colleagues. It's shone a bright light on health inequalities. The Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted that unacceptable racism, injustice and prejudice are issues that remain unresolved in wider society.
We've heard the calls for faster action on tackling discrimination experienced by colleagues across pharmacy, healthcare, the NHS and society. We'll be working with those with lived experiences across our profession to address any prejudice based on race.
Last year, we committed to improving I&D within the profession, appointing an independent chair, Asif Sadiq MBE, to oversee our activities. We asked for your views in a comprehensive survey that pinpointed our strengths and weaknesses as a profession, and worked with pharmacists and stakeholders across England, Scotland and Wales to explore areas in need of change.
Those discussions flagged disability as the area needing the most support and improvement, followed closely by age and race. Disability was also perceived to be the biggest barrier to working in pharmacy, with other barriers including age, pregnancy and maternity status. In response, we’ve set clear objectives to address these concerns.
Our Inclusion and Diversity Strategy is a plan for, and by, pharmacy. Its initiatives support both immediate and long-term changes based on three priorities:
- Create a culture of belonging
- Champion inclusive and authentic leadership
- Challenge Inclusion & Diversity barriers
We’ve already acted on our commitment to publish our ethnicity and gender pay gaps here at RPS. We aren’t legally required to do this, but it’s the right thing to do, as we believe in leading by example. Our next step will be to set up an action group to enable networking and delivery of our ambitious strategy.
There’s still a long way to go, but this report is our public commitment to an ambitious inclusion and diversity programme over the next five years. We’ll work with you every step of the way to create positive change for the profession.