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What students, trainees and early career pharmacists can do to improve diversity in leadership roles

At the last Clinical Pharmacy Congress in May 2023, the UK Black Pharmacists' Association (UKBPA) led a session entitled "It is hard to be what you can't see." The discussion focused on the importance of representation in leadership positions and how organizations can address the lack of ethnic diversity in these roles.

While the pharmacy profession still has a long way to go in achieving a leadership that reflects the ethnic diversity of its membership, there are steps individuals, especially the new generation of pharmacy professionals, can take to bring about change.

It is crucial for students, trainees, and early-career professionals to be prepared to assume leadership positions when the opportunity arises. They can do this by actively taking measures to become the leaders that the profession needs. Here are some actions that can help create a better-prepared and more diverse talent pool:

  • Applying for leadership roles even when there is room for improvement. A good leader understands the importance of continuous professional and personal growth.

  • Seeking out mentors to support their leadership journey. Having someone to discuss challenges can lead to a relationship that provides lifelong support. Furthermore, having multiple mentors often fosters innovation and encourages a creative approach to leadership.

  • Staying updated on challenges in the profession to find viable solutions. Striving to become a better leader requires a mindset of continuous learning.

To achieve the changes we desire, it is essential for our members to take focused and intentional actions. There are numerous opportunities available now for pharmacy professionals interested in leading change and improving the quality of the services we provide. An ethnically diverse leadership will benefit us all, but we must proactively take steps to achieve this goal.

Author: Elsy Gomez Campos, President of UK Black Pharmacists' Association

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