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RPS publishes five-year strategy for inclusion and diversity in pharmacy

By Isabel Shaw

22 Jun 2020

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has published a five-year inclusion and diversity strategy, it announced today (22 June).

This outlines plans to encourage inclusion within the profession, so that ‘every person in pharmacy feels they genuinely belong,’ said Asif Sadiq MBE, who has been working and leading the programme since it was launched last summer.

Three main objectives of the strategy include: creating a culture of belonging including a more inclusive profession and inclusive workplaces; to champion inclusive and authentic leadership, and to challenge barriers to inclusion and diversity.

The RPS has pledged to ‘expand existing pharmacy community groups and set up a fully inclusive action group to enable networking across the profession and delivery of our strategy,’ and to host regular events supporting belonging and inclusion.

By early 2021, RPS plans start to improve and develop hiring panels and publish and promote family-friendly policies for all employees.

The strategy was created to address issues highlighted in responses to a profession-wide survey; which revealed disability to be an area which needed more inclusion – age and race also came up as areas that needed improvement.

Disability was considered by many respondents to be the biggest barrier to working in pharmacy, closely followed by pregnancy and maternity status.

Mr Sadiq spoke of the importance of these changes for the profession. ‘A sense of belonging unites us as we strive to create a truly inclusive workplace, one that supports collective advancement and continuing success without leaving any individual or group behind, and in which everyone feels they can truly be themselves and thrive,’ he said.

RPS Chief Executive, Paul Bennett, commented: ‘RPS is committed to making inclusion and diversity 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 patients, creating a workplace in which everyone feels they can be themselves and thrive.’

RPS President Sandra Gidley noted that although there is still ‘a long way to go,’ this report is a ‘public commitment to an ambitious inclusion and diversity programme over the next five years.’ She added: ‘We’ve already acted on our commitment to publishing our ethnicity pay gap and gender pay gap at RPS. We do this voluntarily as we want to be open and transparent about where there is disparity. Our next step will be to set up an action group to enable networking and delivery of our ambitious strategy.’

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