How becoming a PJ ‘Woman to Watch’ has benefited my career

We catch up with The Pharmaceutical Journal's Women to Watch 2020 to find out what the recognition has meant for them.

The Pharmaceutical Journal announced its first ever ‘Women to Watch’ list in December 2020, to celebrate 12 brilliant, under-recognised female pharmacy professionals, who are accomplishing great things across the sector.

Here, these women detail their experiences since the list was published, what is has meant to them to be recognised in such a way and how their future careers are shaping up.

amira guirguis

Since I received the award, I became known among colleagues as the pharmacist on the ‘Women to Watch list’! I have been approached by junior colleagues and some people I have not met for years looking for inspiration and advice on their future careers. The accolade has definitely supported in getting my work and research noticed.

I feel so honoured to receive such a prestigious award. I am involved in preregistration training and I sit on a number of committees, and I am a Royal Pharmaceutical Society mentor as well. Through these roles, I meet lots of ambitious women, who share many things with me such as “wanting to change the norm”, not for the sake of changing it, but to make a difference in patient lives, pharmacy education or in running services. This award is very suited to women with the potential to change the future of pharmacy and improve care.

Read more about Amira here

arshina patel

Since the publication of the Women to Watch, I was overwhelmed by the support and well-wishes by many of my colleagues. It gave me the opportunity to connect and even reconnect with many peers in the pharmacy field. Some people got in touch because they saw I had made the leap from community pharmacy to the medicines regulator and wanted to know my advice on how I was able to make that switch.

The whole experience of being a part of The Pharmaceutical Journal‘s Women to Watch has been very positive and I’m very grateful to have been chosen. 

Read more about Arshina here

maired conlon

The response that I have had from a huge range of people across different sectors of the profession has been just wonderful. The Women to Watch campaign is all about empowering and recognising women who don’t necessarily make the headlines and shout about what they do, and about helping develop the next generation of female leaders and trailblazers in our profession. Get nominating!

Read more about Mairead here

vivien yu

Overall, the experience really impacted me in a positive way. As someone who often describes themselves as having ‘imposter syndrome’, the Women to Watch list really made me feel that I could, and should, carry on with some of my bigger projects and that I was not out of my depth.

This award has brought positive attention to the societies I run, as I have been invited to speak at some events. Whenever I interact with student pharmacists across the country, the list is also something they often bring up. Both my jobs in pharmacy were positively influenced by the article and the people I work with were also proud. 

Find out more about Vivien here

unekwuojo agada

Being a Woman to Watch has served as a good push to keep going. Juggling the Black Pharmacists Collective (for pharmacy students) with my studies has been challenging; however, it was a reminder that the work we do is important and it does have impact.

There has definitely been some further interest and engagement from the wider pharmacy community as a result of the Women to Watch campaign. It also highlighted some great work that others are doing, which allows me to see areas where I can look to support others. 

Read more about Unekwuojo here

fiona marra

This has been such a great experience. The best bit for me was being contacted by pharmacists who I worked with more than ten years ago or people I met at university, all of whom congratulated me for the first time in years. I still don’t know who nominated me, which is nice and mysterious. 

Thank you to all who made this happen. It made quite a dark and exceedingly busy year very joyous for those few weeks.

Read more about Fiona here

nabila chaudri, director of pharmacy, babylon health

Being recognised in this way has definitely had a positive effect. It has helped with recognition for the work I do, both within and external to my organisation. I am still incredibly grateful, and would highly recommend this for the coming year. 

Read more about Nabila here

caroline dada

Wow — what a six months’ it has been. My mission has always been to make a difference to patients’ lives and reduce health inequalities, and this recognition gave me the courage to seek new opportunities beyond the pharmacy arena, such as scoring grant applications for new social prescribing awards and co-producing digital resources to raise awareness of the health inequalities the transgender and Gypsy/traveller populations face.

In June 2020, I was appointed as the elective recovery manager for the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts, which is a huge privilege, and I hope to work collaboratively to drive this crucial piece of work forward.

I am currently studying to become an accredited coach so I can support others to also grow — so thank you to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for giving me the fire in my belly once again.

Find out more about Caroline here

Women to Watch 2021

We have launched another search for The Pharmaceutical Journal‘s Women to Watch for 2021 — click here to nominate someone today!

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, July 2021, Vol 307, No 7951;307(7951)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2021.1.93601

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