EquityRx: Championing women and diversity in pharmacy
What is EquityRx?
EquityRx is FIP’s campaign to champion women in global pharmacy and health, through the empowerment of women both within and beyond the workforce.
The evidence is clear: investing in women, whether through the female workforce (across all settings and stages) or through women caregivers in the community, enhances access to quality health care and is an essential step towards achieving universal health coverage.
As the overarching label and unifying theme for FIP’s initiatives and work on gender and diversity, EquityRx is not only about spearheading transformative gender workforce-centred policies, but also about addressing diversity issues in general. Our work currently focuses on three goals:
- Promoting equity in the pharmacy workforce
- Championing women in science and academia
- Empowering women as informal caregivers
Upcoming EquityRx events
A session on “Empowering women as agents of better health” will be held at the FIP congress.
A session on “Tackling the equity issue: Global challenges for women in pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences” will be held at the FIP congress.
Promoting equity in the pharmacy workforce
FIP global workforce data shows that the majority of the global pharmaceutical workforce are women, with year-on-year increases. Our intelligence indicates that the average female proportion of the total global pharmacy workforce will increase to over 70% by 2030, mirroring the proportion of women in the wider health workforce. Promoting equity in the pharmacy workforce is needed, now more than ever, to utilise women’s roles to deliver better medicines-related health for all.
FIP’s Pharmaceutical Workforce Development Goal (PWDG) 10: “Gender and diversity balances” calls for all countries to have clear strategies for addressing gender and diversity inequalities in the pharmaceutical workforce, continued education and training, and career progression opportunities.
FIP, through its Workforce Development Hub and the Workforce Transformation Programme, works with its members and partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO), to support the development of national gender transformative policies in countries everywhere. FIP is a founding member of the WHO Gender Equity Hub.
Championing women in science and academia
Achieving gender equity is at the heart of FIP’s agenda. Aligned with major global policies, FIP "Pharmaceutical Workforce Development Goal: Gender and equity balances" is a target that FIP set globally to ensure balanced gender distribution and diversity in a profession substantially represented by women.
FIP is tackling gender equity issues in the pharmaceutical workforce, both in practice and education. In science and academia, our aim is to identify multiple barriers that students and academics face through organising consensus development panels at each FIP congress to measure discriminatory practices and norms and to establish a global standards system for pharmacy schools to promote progress towards equity. This work will help improve how gender equality results are framed, monitored and reflected in the education sector, strengthen accountability for results and, ultimately, help achieve gender equity both in and through education.
Empowering women as informal caregivers
Women are the non-professional caregivers closest to healthcare professionals and, more often than not, are the ones who go to pharmacies and assume responsibilities for health in the household. In general, women tend to seek treatment and go to doctors’ or pharmacy’s offices more frequently than men do. In the USA, About 75% of family caregivers are women, and approximately 25% are spouses.1 With the population ageing, women are increasingly volunteering to care for their elderly family members. FIP’s report “Pharmacists supporting women and responsible use of medicines” showcases how pharmacists should work to empower women in their role as an informal caregiver, to communicate to women the need to be informed about medicines and to support their health literacy, in order for them to be able to positively influence others. By intervening with compassion and providing information, resources, and support, pharmacists may positively affect care recipients and their caregivers.
WHO report: Delivered by Women, Led by Men: A Gender and Equity Analysis of the Global Health and Social Workforce
Advice from a top woman pharmaceutical scientist