The pharmacy sector is made up of a majority female workforce. Yet according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), there was an 11% difference between what female and male pharmacists were paid in the UK in 2016.

The gap, which is tilted in favour of male pharmacists, needs to be addressed head on because larger companies are now required to publish their salaries by gender.

Deborah Evans, managing director of Pharmacy Complete spoke to The Pharmacist about the gender pay gap in pharmacy.

'I’m encouraged by the fact that pharmacists in terms of the gender pay gap fair quite well compared to other professions.

'But the fact that there is a gap at all is still disappointing, particularly as we have so many women.

'Many of our leaders in pharmacy are male and yet the workforce is predominantly female,' Evans said.

'It should always be about who is best for the job. Diversity is good for any board to have that balance of decision making and perspectives. The boards [of pharmacy organisations] need to reflect the workforce that they are representing,' Evans added.

Sandra Gidley, chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board said: 'It’s encouraging to see the gender pay gap is less than half of the national average.

'The pharmacist workforce employed by the NHS is covered by Agenda for Change, which helps ensure equality of pay for people employed within the NHS. There’s no room for complacency however and of course many pharmacists work for private employers.

'In terms of leadership of the RPS, two out of our three national Board Chairs are women, and until recently so was our CEO.  There are now more female pharmacists than male, so it’s important this balance is reflected.

'My former work on gender issues has highlighted the fact that women often undersell themselves and their abilities. I would urge all women to network, get involved at local and national level and push themselves out of their personal comfort zone. Just go for it,' Gidley said.

[box type="shadow" ]Read the main story on the gender pay gap in pharmacy here. [/box]