Group releases toolkit to improve environments for women in pharmaceutical sciences


The International Pharmaceutical Federation has released a toolkit to improve practice environments for women in pharmaceutical science and pharmacy education.

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According to a press statement issued by the federation on Wednesday, the toolkit was developed by the FIP Women in Science and Education (FIPWiSE) Enabling Workplaces Working Group.

The toolkit builds on the federation’s collaborative work with the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) to ensure positive practice environments (PPEs) for healthcare professionals,” the statement says.

Based on the WHPA’s PPE campaign, literature, and experiences of women pharmaceutical scientists and educators, the toolkit raises awareness of areas that require attention.

These have been categorised into five key domains: Equal incentives for equal work; Work-life balance; Creating supportive and safe working environments; Opportunities for professional development, recognition, and empowerment; and Women in leadership.

The toolkit presents possible solutions that can be implemented by professionals, employers, and policymakers to generate and maintain supportive working environments, accompanied by case studies.

It contains materials that can be used to raise awareness on PPEs for women in science and education and includes interviews on PPEs with Dr. Roopa Dhatt, executive director, Women in Global Health, and Mr. Howard Catton, 2021 chair, WHPA, and CEO of the International Council of Nurses.

Although women comprise the majority of the health and care workforce, they are underrepresented in the science, technology, and education workforce.

In addition, when it comes to career progression, there are significant differences between genders in these fields. For example, there is evidence that women have fewer papers published, the toolkit notes.

We see women making an extraordinary contribution to global health, but not yet being rewarded equally with men in pay, leadership or career progression.

“By creating and maintaining positive practice environments we can help women to achieve their full potential in all sectors, including in education and science.

The FIPWiSE toolkit focuses on education and science workplaces, but learnings can be expanded across the entire pharmaceutical workforce. When an environment is supportive, enabling, and collaborative, we can all thrive,” said FIP CEO, Dr. Catherine Duggan.

The International Pharmaceutical Federation is the global federation of national associations of pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, and pharmacy educators, and is in official relations with the World Health Organisation. Through its 147 member organisations, it represents over four million practitioners and scientists around the world.

The FIP launched its FIPWiSE initiative in 2020 to help women reach their fullest potential in fields of pharmaceutical science and education and to attract young women into these fields.


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