Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Celebrating visible women

by Amandeep Doll, RPS Inclusion and Diversity Co-ordinator

As part of our 180th anniversary celebrations, and to mark International Women’s Day, our wonderful RPS Museum has launched a celebration of women in pharmacy.

The women that are featured are pioneers and stand out for their achievements. In the Victorian era, women fought for a long time to be accepted as full members by the Society, which eventually happened in 1879. But their struggles helped pave the way for those who came after.

The profession is now very different. For example, over 60% of pharmacists are now women, and women and men from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities now comprise around 45% of the workforce. Our new exhibition highlights figures from our history that we have records for but doesn’t reflect diversity. There are other stories to tell too. Inequalities often intersect as identities overlap and intensify the experience of discrimination. For example, the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic women will also encompass both race inequality and gender inequality.

We’ll be giving a platform for women to share their many and varied experiences through some live events this month. You can already check out our Facebook Live on Women in Science and other live streams are planned on women and leadership, (10 Mar), women in technology (17 Mar), and the role of women as carers during the pandemic (24 March). You can also listen to me talk to Harpreet Chana and Reena Barai about the 'invisible work' women in pharmacy do and how to maintain a work-life balance.

We want to improve the diversity of our historical and contemporary records so that we can see the true picture that reflects our differences - and we need your help. Please get in touch and tell us your experiences, or those of your relatives and ancestors who worked in the profession. It would be fantastic to be able to expand the representation of diverse communities through your memories, artefacts and photos. Please get in touch [email protected].

We want to encourage voices that express the diversity of lived experiences in the profession as part of our inclusion and diversity work. If you’d like to share your story, contact [email protected] or get involved through our ABCD group



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