Pharmacy sexism a ‘very real threat’


A petition asking pharmacy organisations to address “a legacy of silent trepidation” due to sexism has sparked a conversation about how the sector can make changes

Women in pharmacy face “intolerable levels of harassment and intimidation,” says the American Pharmacists Association, in responding to a change.org petition which urges pharmacy leadership to address gender inequity.

Women in Pharmacy started a change.org petition, addressing national pharmacy organisations, which highlights the “ongoing, troubling sexism” in the profession.

“In recent months, it has become increasingly apparent that awards, presentations, and provisions of leadership have been used to intimidate women in our profession unbeknownst to many,” the petition states.

“At present, over 45 self-identified victims of this behavior have come forward. This behavior is persistent and has begun to have a significant impact on our trainees, creating a legacy of silent trepidation.”

APhA has responded, calling sexism in pharmacy a “very real threat”.

“Women risk leadership roles, awards, and opportunities to present their research if they speak out about sexism and sexual misconduct,” the organisation said in a statement signed by the 15 members of APhA’s Board of Trustees.

“The petition inspired a wave of women to share their own stories of abuse and harassment based on their gender.

“The petition also led to discussions about the unfairness of guilty parties receiving tenure-track promotions, positions of power, and professional awards and accolades with no consideration of their unprofessional and destructive treatment of their women peers.

“This is a very real threat to pharmacy and the patients we serve,” said APhA.

“When women are sexually harassed, and when their achievements are subjugated and disregarded, we are deprived of valuable perspectives, ideas, and innovations that could propel us forward.

“Every one of us, especially men, needs to take an honest inventory of how we think and act, and how we play a role in letting sexism endure.

“APhA members and staff must do so as well, not only as individuals but as an organization.”

APhA called the change.org petition a “hopeful sign” as it could motivate pharmacy groups to address the problem.

“We call on all organizations and individuals to join us in fighting sexism, racism, discrimination, harassment, and intimidation,” it said.

“Let’s get at it.”

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