Campaign letter for RPS elections 2021: Shirley Walker on strength in diversity

This is a campaign letter for the 2021 RPS national pharmacy board elections. The views expressed in this letter belong to the author. Find out more about the RPS elections.

Now is the time for actions not words. Elect me as an English Pharmacy Board member and the Society can demonstrate a genuinely inclusive culture.

I am a black British African woman, originally from Ghana, but in my 20-year membership with the RPS, I cannot remember any black female English Pharmacy Board members. Pharmacy gains strength from its diversity — it reflects the patients we serve and the people we work alongside. Vote for me and ensure that the English Pharmacy Board is truly representative of this diversity.

A diverse team is a stronger one because everyone can contribute something unique. The increasing diversity in all walks of life brings new variability in perspectives, and increases creativity and innovation.

The Society must walk the walk, and not just talk the talk, on diversity and inclusion. Elect me to make our professional leadership body more diverse and harness the power of an inclusive board.

As one of the most trusted healthcare professions, pharmacy must lead and champion diversity to the public. We must be a leader in tackling health inequalities. There is a real opportunity to increase understanding among some communities or ethnic groups about the healthcare services they need.

The Society must be ready to support initiatives that are happening on the ground today, such as the work to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. There are great examples of pharmacists using social media to dispel common COVID-19 vaccine myths across different communities.

The pandemic has amplified the impact on our most deprived communities. We must answer the urgent call to action, using community pharmacies in areas of higher deprivation.

A diverse board with multicultural members, who thoroughly understand the challenges faced by different communities, can make a real difference. I welcome this opportunity to play my part in this.

Shirley Walker, election candidate, English Pharmacy Board, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Last updated
Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, April 2021;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2021.1.79458