Parents and Carers


Pregnancy and maternity is one of the areas identified as a barrier to working in pharmacy in our inclusion and diversity survey. It’s also where you said more support was needed for the profession.

The culture around pregnancy and maternity slows women’s career progression and doesn’t value the time new parents spend with their children.

RPS wants individuals to work in an environment where parents can choose family friendly working arrangements, adoption leave, and work flexibly as they welcome a new family member into their lives.

What we're doing

We’re promoting clear guidance and support for flexible working for parents and carers of all genders. In the autumn we’ll be running a campaign to help support parents and carers.

We’re encouraging shared parental leave by finding role models within the profession and create a ‘working parents’ programme for pharmacy that include toolkits for managers and returning parents.

We’ve reviewed our processes for recruitment, national Board elections, awarding Fellowships and are committed to Equality Impact Assessments on all areas of our work – particularly with the RPS educational frameworks to ensure there is flexibility in achieving these.

We collect Equality, Diversity and Inclusion data for of our membership on a yearly basis to understand more about our members and ensure our services are inclusive.

We’re working to achieve real and lasting change for pharmacy through challenge, advocacy with our profession, partners and contributors within and outside of pharmacy.

Tackling the problems

Been on parental leave and returning to work? Our Return to Practice guide is packed full of practical advice and tips to help you return to the workplace with confidence.

What you can do

Together, we can make working life easier for parents and carers.

Breaking barriers

Fire your imagination with the achievements and experiences of others.

Are you anticipating parental leave? Or returning to work after a break? Two RPS Directors express their joys and fears about parental leave.

Feel guilty about asking for flexible working? Why is it so hard to arrange? – it can be essential for everyone at particular life stages, says RPS Head of Professional Belonging Amandeep Doll.


“As a single parent, I feel that there wasn’t enough flexibility to keep a healthy work-life balance and I felt I wasn’t given enough support when I was struggling.”

“If you are a carer, it’s very difficult to get flexible hours.”

“If you are pregnant and having a complicated pregnancy, it is difficult to get employers to understand.”

Join our Action in Belonging, Culture and Diversity (ABCD) Group

Our ABCD group is a place to talk through ideas, create change, and build networks across the profession.

At our meetings we hear from people with lived experience and create a culture of belonging, champion inclusive and authentic leadership and challenge barriers to inclusion and diversity:

If you share our passion for inclusion and diversity, get involved!


Read more

Discover lived experiences of pregnancy, maternity, and paternity in these great short articles by pharmacy colleagues.


Pledge for Inclusion and Wellbeing

Sign our Pledge to demonstrate your support for a profession that's inclusive, celebrates diversity, creates a culture of belonging, and supports pharmacy teams’ health and wellbeing.


Already signed our pledge, but don’t know how to put it into action? We can help!

Our Blogs

You're not alone! Many RPS members have written about their experiences in promoting and fighting for Inclusion and Diversity in pharmacy.

Discover their stories and learn about how their experiences, background and culture have shaped who they are today.