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IPP Bulletin – Diversity in Senior Leadership

APTUK shares the steps being taken to improve the diversity of the APTUK Executive Committee

The Association of Pharmacy Technicians United Kingdom (APTUK) prides itself on its commitment to furthering the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda. As a professional leadership body, APTUK strives to be representative of our members and the pharmacy technician profession. As Pharmacy Technicians, we are aware of our professional duties to support the reduction of health inequalities at every opportunity for our patients and the wider public.

As partners of the NHS England Inclusive Pharmacy Practice Programme, we are pleased to share the steps we are taking to improve the diversity of the APTUK Executive Committee. APTUK has conducted an internal analysis of diversity of our leadership, recognises that diversity is of paramount importance, and will take positive steps over the next year to increase diversity within the executive committee. We are exploring working with other voluntary organisations to gain knowledge through lived experiences, barriers faced and to celebrate achievements.

We have recently developed an inclusive recruitment statement to encourage applications from all suitable candidates through clear objective criteria, and gender-neutral language. The statement was created based on the executive committee’s recognition and desire to encourage and attract a diverse pool of applicants to all roles. APTUK values diversity in lived experience, cultural awareness and celebrates differences. We intend for the statement to act as a catalyst, to reduce overrepresentation of certain groups and empower individuals to join our Executive Committee in senior leadership positions.

APTUK recognises the positive value of diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination. Our commitment to celebrate and promote diversity enhances our inclusive approach, which we endeavour will attract a diverse pool of talent and experience. It's really important we thrive on being different, validate our varied experiences, and express how we think with a valued voice. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. 

The APTUK executive committee members have individually reflected on their personal privileges and lived experience. As an executive committee we are immensely proud that the executive committee includes professional lead representatives ensuring equitable representation from Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England, and to role model a truly collaborative and united voice for all Pharmacy Technicians. Diversity is an ongoing commitment and the APTUK executive committee will continue to share developments with our members at every opportunity.

As an individual from an ethnic minority background, I am immensely honoured to be representing our profession through my equality, diversity and inclusion executive role. I have recently enrolled in the first cohort of CORE20Plus Ambassadors, as a representative of APTUK. As the pharmacy technician profession increases its profile, through the successful work many are doing within bridging the gap between health inequalities, I believe it’s equally important to have a diverse range of people in senior leadership roles. This, I hope, will enable more profiling of pharmacy technicians to carry out impactful workstreams in ensuring the health outcomes for the communities we serve are equitable and promote equity in health and care provisions for all.

Having been on my own personal professional journey, I fully empathise that vocalising thoughts and opinions can be a very challenging. I would like this opportunity to share my experience of speaking up to invoke positive change for all. As a member of my organisational Inclusion network, it was recognised that the NHS England guidance of at least 19% representation from underrepresented groups on all NHS executive boards would be a great inclusive target for us to attain. My belief is that recognition is the first step to initiate a proactive response. I suggested that the development of a leadership programme for staff members of the organisation would encourage and empower future executive leaders. With the focus on underrepresented groups and inclusion, the workshops were available to all staff members with a protected number of workshops specifically allocated for underrepresented groups to encourage their development. I hope to inspire and encourage you to voice your valued opinions and comments and understand the importance of taking positive steps to improve diversity within senior pharmacy professional leadership.

APTUK welcomes feedback and encourages members to contact membership@aptuk.org with any suggestions and comments.

Read the the NHS England Inclusive Pharmacy Practice Bulletin

Shamma Baig
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Lead | Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK



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