The findings emerged from a C+D survey of racism in pharmacy that ran from June 18 to July 27 – gathering responses from 886 pharmacy professionals across the UK – and asked how pharmacy teams have been impacted by racial discrimination from both patients and colleagues.
Of respondents who identified as white, the percentage that has left or considered leaving a job in pharmacy as a result of racial discrimination from patients or colleagues is half that of their BAME counterparts, at 26%.
Outlining other ways in which racial discrimination has affected them, 56% of BAME respondents said they felt “demotivated”, while 53% said it made them, “stressed” and 42% that they felt “less confident” as a result.
Over two thirds (67%) of respondents who identified as Pakistani said they felt “demotivated” as a result of discrimination from colleagues and patients, while 60% of those from an African background said the same. Sixty-one per cent of respondents from an African background said they already had, or have considered, leaving their job due to racism.
The infographic above shows the percentage of BAME respondents who checked each box.
Feeling unsafe and depressed
Almost half of BAME respondents (46%) also said they felt “psychologically unsafe” or “physically unsafe” in the pharmacy as a result of racial discrimination. This compares to 21% for their white colleagues.
One respondent commented that they had been “threatened and told to step outside so they can rip my headscarf off”.
Just under a third (31%) of BAME professionals selected “depression”, “suicidal thoughts” and “self-harm thoughts” as factors describing how racial discrimination in pharmacy had affected them.
Several respondents commented that they had developed anxiety as a result of racial discrimination, with one saying they were “put off locuming” by it.
Over a third of BAME respondents (36%) said racial discrimination had adversely impacted their career by “others [being] prioritised in job applications or promotions”. This compares to 16% of white respondents.
The percentages are especially high among African and Pakistani groups, with 40% of African and 44% of Pakistani survey respondents choosing this answer.
Pharmacy staff also reported different treatment when it comes to performance assessments, depending on their ethnicity. Over a quarter (27%) of BAME staff said they had received “unfair performance assessments”, compared to 11% among their white counterparts.
One respondent said they have to work four times harder to “secure my job” but that their “performance always receives less praise as compared to others”.
Pay was another issue affected by racial discrimination, according to respondents to the C+D survey. Overall, 25% of all respondents said their “salary would be higher” if it were not for racial discrimination negatively affecting their careers.
This percentage rose to nearly two-thirds (30%), among BAME staff, while only 12% of white staff indicated the same.
One respondent said the majority of locum pharmacists are of BAME background “because they know they would not be given fair treatment as managers”.
“The frankly disgraceful wages being paid to locums is a reflection of the number of ethnic minority pharmacists in theses sector,” they added.