Women in Pharmacy Should Band Together to Overcome Obstacles

Pharmacy CareersSpring 2023
Volume 17
Issue 1

Networking and being prepared and educated are keys to succeeding as women in the pharmacy field.

Many people would encourage you to pursue a career in pharmacy, with some saying it is a fulfilling path for women. However, although it may sound harsh, being a female pharmacist is not always easy. Professional preparation for women can differ from that of men, particularly when it comes to learning how to balance work and home responsibilities. Women also face various difficulties in the workplace.

Female pharmacist working | Image credit: Arnell Koegelenberg/peopleimages.com - stock.adobe.com

Female pharmacist working | Image credit: Arnell Koegelenberg/peopleimages.com - stock.adobe.com

First, there is prejudice against women that continues to exist in many areas of our profession, despite recent advancements. As a result, it may be more difficult for women to advance in their careers or earn equal pay for the same amount of work. There is also a lack of female role models. Women may not have as many mentors and role models who are also women, which makes it more difficult to seek assistance and guidance. Finally, work-life harmony is particularly challenging for women, who typically perform most caregiving duties. Women in pharmacy may find it difficult to combine the demands of having both a job and a family.

The good news is that women who are in pharmacy school can prepare for a fulfilling career by thinking ahead and considering their goals.

Identify your strengths and areas of interest. Learn more about your talents and interests by devoting some time to them. This may help you decide on a pharmacy career path that you will find most fulfilling and intriguing. If you have children or want them in the future, it may be challenging to manage your work and family obligations, so consider finding a flexible employment arrangement, such as an employer that offers remote work, part-time work, or flexible hours, to make it easier to balance your world.

When choosing the area of pharmacy that interests you the most, consider your life and schedule. Think about the sacrifices you are prepared to make. For instance, many occupations in pharmacy require working weekends, nights, and/or holidays. You must decide how you will strike a balance as a mother or the primary caregiver at home: putting your kids to bed, attending their weekend activities—and no parent wants to miss a holiday with their kids. And those without children may not want to miss holidays with family or weekend events.

Network. By making connections and engaging in conversations with others in your field of pharmacy, you can learn more about the area of pharmacy you are interested in. Participate in events, network on social media, join groups, and connect with those who are in your preferred profession.

Invest in your education and training. Consider completing a residency, fellowship, or certification in the field of your interest. This will improve your chances of finding employment in your respective area of pharmacy.

Stay up to date. Consider several ways to stay current via social media and thought leaders, and keep up with the most recent developments and trends in your field. Doing so will help you continue to learn and develop your skills. Review as many articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, and other content as you can.

Overall, networking and maintaining your knowledge, as well as being prepared and educated, will help you to overcome any obstacles you may face and to succeed in your field. By defending your rights and those of other women in the workplace, you may also help to eliminate these hurdles for future generations.

About the Author

Suzanne Soliman, PharmD, BCMAS, is chief medical officer at the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs and founder of Pharmacist Moms Group, the largest group of female pharmacists in the United States, with more than 45,000 members.

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