The campaign for gender equality is well known and the current social movement to promote it is ubiquitous. However, this is only part of the battle. Actually, we now need to do more to promote diversity in general.
Diversity doesn’t only consider gender, but encompasses race, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, experience, organisational function, education, background, communication style, adaptability, and so much more.
Our pharmacy teams are often the most diverse collection of individuals and yet, of course, we all work together, drawing on each other’s strengths to get the job done.
However, let’s look outside of our pharmacies at our representative bodies. It has made sense over the years to choose people to serve on these boards who were like-minded, known in the pharmacy world, and bring a wealth of experience. As well intentioned as this strategy was, it doesn’t necessarily now reflect nor represent the diverse workforce we have in pharmacy today.
As most of our representative boards are elected, it is even more important for the members of these organisations to be aware of, recognise the need for, and appreciate diversity when it comes to the candidates they vote for.
Up until now, we may have tended to vote for people we know or people who look, think and act like us. Instead, we should now all consider the bigger picture, taking care to think strategically about who will be sitting around the table at the various boards, and asking ourselves if there is the right diverse mix of people representing us.
There is a plethora of evidence that shows the benefits of diversity in workplaces and on boards. This ranges from more effective decision making, better use of the talent pool and greater ideas coming from disruption of the status quo.
Now, more than ever, we should all remember that we all have a social responsibility to be inclusive, broad-minded and tolerant. Community pharmacy will be the better for it.