Poll: quotas for women in pharmacy leadership

Women in leadership panel at PSA17. Photo: AJP.

Do you believe in quotas or targets for women in pharmacy leadership?

The issue of women in pharmacy leadership has been gathering steam of late.

At last year’s Pharmacy Guild parliamentary dinner, president George Tambassis encouraged women to run for office.

“We want and need more female members involved in the leadership of the Guild,” he said at the time. “Women are under-represented as pharmacy owners—at just over 30%—and in Guild leadership roles.”

And at last week’s PSA conference, an all-female panel facilitated by Dr Alison Roberts saw women discuss their experiences in pharmacy, including the gender pay gap and dismissive attitudes towards women.

They also discussed the possibility of either quotas—meaning a specific number or percentage is required—or targets to aim for.

“I used to be against quotas because nobody wants to be there as a token female,” said Debbie Rigby, who last year was voted Australia’s top Woman of Influence by AJP readers.

“But the reality is that we’re not there yet. I think there should be targets but not quotas.”

Industry heavyweight Rhonda White said she had always been against quotas, but that ”I think quotas have made good men aware of their responsibility,” while hospital pharmacist and Member for Dobell Emma McBride said she believes in increasing quotas in politics.

In 2016, following discussions at APP about the representation of women in leadership and as speakers at the event, AJP asked whether women were well enough represented and 70% of you said no.

Now we’d like to know what you think. Should pharmacy organisations like the Guild or PSA implement quotas, or targets to shoot for—or neither? Tell us why in the comments.

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