Women and Gender

Photo by Vonecia Carswell

A snapshot of the pharmacy workforce shows that 62% of all pharmacists and 88% of all pharmacy technicians identify as female in England. However, research shows that women are still underrepresented in most senior roles in pharmacy. This is particularly true for women who are from ethnic minorities.

CCA members are committed to ensuring gender diversity and equality is reflected across all levels of their pharmacy teams. From the dispensary to head offices, CCA organisations have implemented several pathways and opportunities to recognise female colleagues. This includes career development programmes or policies specific to women’s needs at work.

The sector should champion our female role models and leaders. Our members are proud to have three female Superintendent Pharmacists at the helm. You can read their journeys, insights and tips in our recent spotlight feature here.

Boots – Raising Menopause Awareness for Colleagues

In 2022, Boots received an independent accreditation from the Menopause Friendly Accreditation’s Independent Panel, making Boots an Age Inclusive and Menopause Friendly employer. As part of its mission to promote awareness and inclusivity, Boots have set up a menopause group that provides ongoing support for colleagues. As well as an opportunity share their experiences, the group works to raise awareness and bust taboos of menopause across the organisation.

Tesco – Menopause Support Packages

Tesco has introduced a series of support packages for colleagues experiencing menopause and to help educate other colleagues. This includes the introduction of a colleague menopause portal which brings together resources, colleague support and information into one place to make it easier for colleagues to access help when they need it. Part of the support package is changing absence from work calculations by removing time-off work due to menopause symptoms. Tesco is a signatory to the Menopause Workplace Pledge to help colleagues understand and talk openly about menopause.

Asda – Developing the Asda Census to Ensure Fair Representation

Asda launched their Census in 2021 to map gender representation across the business.  The Census was designed to increase opportunities and ensure that all levels of the workforce reflect its diverse makeup.

Superdrug – Supporting Employees on their Return from Maternity Leave

Superdrug launched their first maternity returners programme last year. The programme supports employees to return to work following maternity leave.

The Sector and Beyond

Useful Further Reading:

  • Female leadership at Boots UK – Boots have shared a testimonial piece from Ghada Beal as a woman in a leadership position in pharmacy. Ghada talks about her journey and the opportunities that have helped her career excel.
  • Women in pharmacy: Female Superintendents speak about women in pharmacy leadership – As part of NHS England’s Inclusive Pharmacy Practice (IPP) bulletin, the CCA interviewed two female Superintendent Pharmacist, Claire Nevinson (Boots UK) and Victoria Steele (LloydsPharmacy) on their experiences as women in leadership, allyship and advice for the next generation of women entering the pharmacy workforce. Read more here.
  • Women to Watch – In March 2020, the Pharmaceutical Journal (PJ) began a campaign that recognises trailblazing women in pharmacy. ‘Women to Watch’ was reignited last year. As part of this campaign, the PJ has selected a list of inspiring women and their achievements. You can read their profiles and the impact they’re making here.

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