Paul Bennett

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has pledged to “create a culture of belonging” to make pharmacy a more inclusive profession.

Calling it a “plan for, and by pharmacy” the RPS today (June 22) released it latest strategy document – ‘Inclusion and Diversity Report.’

In the 17-page report, the RPS pledges to create “a culture of belonging for individuals and teams by creating an inclusive pharmacy profession and inclusive workplaces.”

It also promised to take initiatives between now and 2025 to “champion inclusive and authentic leadership” and challenge barriers to inclusion and diversity within the profession.

The report said despite pharmacy being a diverse profession there were too many instances where people don’t feel they belong – and that’s not right.”

Paul Bennett, its chief executive, noted that the RPS was committed to making inclusion and diversity central to the way the society championed the profession, adding that its aim was to create “a workplace in which everyone feels they can be themselves and thrive.”

Commenting on the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 pandemic on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, he said: “RPS has heard the calls for faster action on tackling discrimination experienced by colleagues across pharmacy, healthcare, the NHS and society. We will be working with those with lived experiences across our profession to address any prejudice based on race.”

The society’s work around inclusion and diversity has been overseen by Asif Sadiq MBE, who was appointed last year as independent chair.

RPS President Sandra Gidley said: “There’s still a long way to go, but this report is our public commitment to an ambitious inclusion and diversity programme over the next five years. We’ll work with you every step of the way to create positive change for the profession.”

“Commenting on the report, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Keith Ridge said: “It clearly sets out the actions that we as a profession need to take forward, working in partnership to bring about real and lasting change. I am committed as the head of profession to working with the RPS in its implementation.”

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