We spoke to some women at APP 2021 to find out more… and we also want to know what you think
Pharmacy is a good profession for women, delegates at APP 2021 Conference on the Gold Coast told AJP at the Women’s Networking Lunch.
However some spoke of difficulties being an owner or breaking into leadership.
“I think in general pharmacy is a good profession for women,” one pharmacist delegate said at the event.
“It provides flexible arrangements for women and obviously other women seeking healthcare for their families trust other women to give them advice.
“It can make it harder for employers though, when considering family options, but I think that flexibility also can strengthen our workforce as well and [build] trust with the community.
“A lot of women pharmacists that I work with are mothers and work well together to share the roles in the pharmacies that they work in.”
A second delegate was glowing in her review of pharmacy ownership for women.
“[As] a young female pharmacist owner, it’s been really welcoming coming to the pharmacy industry. I’ve had no pushback at all. It’s a really exciting environment because I have a lot of female friends who are owners as well – so yeah, it’s good.
“Because pharmacy for me is all about health and wellbeing, I think we’ve got that maternal instinct where we want to look after people. I think we can understand young mothers and babies and kids and also I connect really well with the older generation as well. I think having a woman’s touch in there is [nothing] but an asset.”
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However another delegate pointed out that while pharmacy is a female-dominated industry, ownership can be a struggle.
“It’s really hard being a female owner and a multiple owner, and I think that there’s probably a bit of a difference between female ownership and female workforce. But I think it’s definitely a great place to work as a female,” she told AJP.
“I [also] don’t believe that there’s enough women in leadership in pharmacy. It’s still very male dominated. I know that is changing and they’re trying to get more females into those positions, but definitely when it comes to ownership, you’ll find that the majority are still male ownership compared to female ownership.”
Helen O’Byrne, President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s Tasmanian Branch and MC of the Women’s Networking Lunch, agreed that there is still more progress to be made in this area.
“Women pharmacists have the confidence, talent and the potential to make our pharmacies better businesses. They can be more efficient and more profitable,” said Ms O’Byrne.
It makes sense for them to be pharmacy owners, but the numbers don’t add up.
She pointed out that while 63% of the pharmacy workforce comprises women, only about 32% of pharmacies are owned by women.
“So how do we address the internal and external barriers that we have, that are stopping men from moving aside to allow women to become owners, to purchase pharmacies and come into partnerships and deliver better businesses for our communities?” Ms O’Byrne queried.
What are the barriers, if any, to women in pharmacy? Let us know in the comments section below.