By Amandeep Doll, RPS Head of Professional Belonging
A year ago today we began our journey towards improving inclusion and diversity in our profession. We published our five-year plan for change to lead the way in creating a culture of belonging for everyone in pharmacy, so people are empowered to be their authentic selves if they wish to at work.
Meaningful action is vital to creating long lasting change and making sure that we are being proactively inclusive, equitable and fair. Our 500 strong Action in Belonging, Culture and Diversity Group is driving our activities, sharing learning, celebrating successes and collaborating on challenges to make progress. They are also highlighting important issues which need to be addressed to create a fairer profession from their lived experiences, from which we are building our advocacy asks and lobbying on behalf of the profession. From publishing our gender and ethnicity pay gaps, to opening up conversations about race, LGBTQIA+ issues and disability, and exploring gender equality, age, and parental leave, ABCD is addressing barriers to inclusion, visibility, representation and career development in the profession.
All of this requires open and honest conversations. These can be inspiring, challenging and uncomfortable, but they drive change and create action. Our conversations with you about the issues you face at work and what needs to change led to the creation of our Inclusion and Wellbeing Pledge to make the workplace fairer for all. Sign up to the Pledge and join the many individuals, teams, organisations and employers already committed to creating a workplace that celebrates diversity and supports pharmacy teams’ health and wellbeing.
RPS has also signed the pledge and we’ll be working alongside you to ensure everyone feels welcome regardless of role and background. We must be part of the change we want to see, and as part of this we’re also reviewing our own processes around recruitment, steering groups, project teams, advisory groups and professional recognition to ensure they are fully transparent and fair, and have introduced Equality Impact Assessments on new products.
As well as focusing on the profession, we’re working with NHS England and Improvement and APTUK to embed inclusive pharmacy professional practice into everyday care for patients and members of the public, to support the prevention of ill-health and address health inequalities within our diverse communities. We’re now collaborating on delivering a national plan for England and colleagues in Wales and Scotland are progressing strategies too.
During the rest of this year we’ll be developing the great work you’ve already started with us on race microaggressions to cover those around disability, LGBTQIA+ and gender.. We’ll be continuing our journey to become an anti-racist organisation, recognising and removing systemic biases which perpetuate inequitable treatment at RPS and within pharmacy. We’ll be supporting those who sign up to the pledge with examples of fairer hiring policies, family-friendly initiatives and flexible working practices. Towards the end of the year we’ll launch a disability awareness campaign to examine and challenge the barriers that affect people with visible and hidden disabilities in the profession.
Making progress and creating change is hard and your support and input makes all the difference. It’s been great to see is how many organisations across pharmacy are now talking about inclusion and diversity and signing up to our Inclusion and Wellbeing Pledge, demonstrating their commitment to creating a culture of belonging and prioritises wellbeing This provides huge hope for the future of our profession. However, nothing’s perfect and we’ll make mistakes. But by joining us on this journey, together we will create a better future for the profession.
Join ABCD now and create the change you want to see
Sign our Inclusion and Wellbeing Pledge
Read more about our Inclusion and Diversity work