Equality, diversity and inclusion: why true allyship must shift words into action

The very first Pharmacy Workforce Race Equality Standard (PWRES) was published by NHSE in 2023. However, I feel that PWRES is not shining a new light in this arena.  

For me personally, I believe that the heart of well-rounded evaluation always includes human experience, the sum of seen and unseen perceptions and emotions about the progress being made in supporting and advancing the hashtag pharmacy professions. Whilst data points can tell us about the WHAT and HOW MUCH, I’m clear on the fact that they do not fully inform us of the WHY and HOW which are equally important for next steps and actions. 

So what can we do? 

We need to be more intentional in our commitment to allyship. Being a true ally comes with real action, empathy, sponsorship and genuinely making an impact to those around you. Being an ally is finding opportunities and avenues to truly advance towards a culture of belonging, helping those around us feel included and making intentional efforts to amplify the voices of underrepresented individuals or groups. Real allyship is more than just a label; it has to be visible and real actions that make an impact to ignite true belonging for all. 

This week is Black Inclusion Week and I felt it was important to raise awareness in how we can commit to improving cultural competence and allyship across the professions.  

With this in mind, I want to share an African philosophy called “UNBUNTU.” “It is about the essence of being human, it is part of the gift that Africa will give to the world. It embraces hospitality, caring about others, being willing to go the extra mile for the sake of another. We believe that a person is a person through other persons, that my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours. When I dehumanise you, I inexorably dehumanise myself. The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms. Therefore, you seek to work for the common good because your humanity comes into its own in community, in belonging. I participate, I share.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu. 

Recommended viewing to help you on your allyship journey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UojwMiRpNM 

If just through my election campaign, I can empower as many RPS members as possible in shifting words into action then our future as a unified pharmacy profession is promising indeed.

Nirusha Govender

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, May 2024, Vol 312, No 7985;312(7985)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2024.1.314994

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