Race and Ethnicity

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CCA members are taking action to promote racial and ethnic diversity in the workplace. Our members are committed to creating an inclusive environment for colleagues from a Black, Asian or ethnic minority background.

According to analysis from the think tank Policy Exchange, pharmacists are amongst the top 10 most ethnically diverse occupations in the UK. Moreover, almost 45% of the pharmacist workforce is from a non-white background, a General Pharmaceutical Council survey shows.

Whilst pharmacy is a highly diverse profession, there is more work to be done to create equal opportunities, outcomes and fairer representation for colleagues.  

Below you will find some examples of CCA members’ good practice to foster a culture of allyship and advocacy for ethnic minority colleagues.

Well – Participating in Mentorship Scheme for Black Pharmacy Students

Well have been participating in a mentorship opportunity run by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for black pharmacy students. The scheme gives students the chance to connect with black pharmacists to learn from their experiences and receive career support and guidance.

Superdrug – Senior Leadership Reverse Mentoring

Superdrug runs a reverse mentoring programme with employees from ethnic minorities. The programme is designed to help senior leaders understand the diverse lived experiences of colleagues throughout the organisation. Overseen by the Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Network, the reverse mentoring scheme facilitates awareness and dialogue.  The Network also worked with the senior leadership team following the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, running bespoke sessions with leaders and webinars for all employees.  

Boots – Co-designing Outcomes with the REACH Business Resource Group

The Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage Business Resource Group (BRG) at Boots have led a series of crucial and thought-provoking listening sessions to gauge common themes experienced by its members. These sessions encouraged active listening and reflection, allowing the BRG’s executive sponsor and allies to raise some of the key issues with the senior leadership team. The BRG had the opportunity to engage senior leaders through a panel discussion with the group’s members. Outcomes from these sessions include a reverse mentoring programme for senior leaders, and resources for each pharmacy highlighting respect for team members.

Morrisons – Diversity and Inclusion Programme

Morrisons supports five EDI priorities, including support for ethnic minorities, through their Diversity and Inclusion Programme of work. The Programme, sponsored at an executive level, empowers employees though a number of active online communities across its five priority areas.

Race & Ethnicity at Tesco network

The Race & Ethnicity at Tesco network raises awareness of diversity, culture and inclusion. The network has supported the development of colleague resources to help raise awareness of the Black Lives Matters movement; including a how to have great conversations guide, D&I glossary, and guide on how to be an ally.

Well Pharmacy – Increasing Recognition through Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Well Pharmacy set up an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee to represent employees from different functions across the business, reflecting the diverse makeup. The purpose of the Committee is to agree actions to help drive EDI activity at Well. As part of the Committee’s sessions, they discuss resourcing processes to support EDI and an agreed communications plan. This includes reflecting on different policies to support colleagues. The Committee is supported by a Sponsor, enabling the team to feed any ideas directly to the Executive.

The Sector and Beyond

What to Watch or Listen to:

  • Chemist and Druggist Racism Webinar –Victoria Steele (LloydsPharmacy) and Sachin Patel (Boots) joined panellists as part of C+D 2022 session on racism in pharmacy. The C+D led a series of webinars looking at racism in the sector, and the experiences of Black, Asian, and ethnic minority colleagues across various roles. These webinars provide timely, pertinent and honest dialogue and awareness building.  You can watch the webinar on demand here.

Who to Follow:

  • UK Black Pharmacist Association – The UKBPA provides a voice for black pharmacists, foundation pharmacists and students. Their mission is to support the interests of UK black pharmacy professionals.  Their website has a wealth of resources across different topics pertinent to black colleagues in the sector. For example, Bemi Odunlami’s great blog on the many options available to newly registered pharmacists. You can hear more about UKBPA’s aims in this podcast with the organisation’s president Elsy Gomez Campos.
  • Black Pharmacists Collective – An  organisation working to tackle the attainment gap between black pharmacists and their peers, whilst promoting the recruitment and representation of more black pharmacy professionals. You can check out their previous work and events through their Facebook or Twitter.

Useful Further Reading

  • CIPD: Race Inclusion in the Workplace Guide – The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Development have produced an in-depth guide featuring resources and recommendations for employers. The guide also has a very useful breakdown of the terms ‘BME’, ‘BAME’ AND ‘ethnic minorities’, their significance and discussions on their use.
  • National Institute for Health and Care Research: Race Equality Framework The Race Equality Framework (REF) has been created by The National Institute for Health and Care Research as a self-assessment tool for practitioners. Co-produced, it takes forward the experiences of NIHR’s Race Equality Public Action Group into an actionable model for inclusivity.
  • Challenging Microaggressions in the Workplace – Dana James-Edward, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at The King’s Fund, writes about microaggressions and workplace dynamics. Her article reflects on the realities of employees challenging or responding to microaggressions when they are on the receiving end. Instead, everyone has a responsibility to speak up when they see microaggressions and demonstrate allyship.

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