A C+D survey on racism in pharmacy that ran between June 18 and July 27 – gathering responses from 886 pharmacy professionals across the UK – revealed that 66% of pharmacy staff think one way to tackle racism from colleagues is through “an effective complaints procedure” that includes disciplinary action against team members who display racist behaviour.
A respondent identifying as a “young black pharmacist” who commented on the C+D survey said they “personally reported a racism issue to a manager” but “no action was taken, in fact she defended the accused person because they have been working together”.
Another respondent said that “really nothing can be done [because] if a black pharmacist were to complain about any discrimination, they [would be] deemed aggressive and unreasonable”.
The infographic above shows the percentage of all respondents who checked each box.
Call it out
Asked what needs to happen to tackle racism from colleagues in pharmacy, three-quarters (75%) of all respondents chose “more people need to call it out when it happens” from a list of available options.
Close to two-thirds (63%) agreed that “promoting a safer environment where employees feel like they can talk to managers if they have issues” is necessary to addressing racism between colleagues.
Over half (51%) of respondents pointed to “hiring more people of different ethnicities” as key to tackling racism from colleagues.
One respondent suggested implementing more diverse hiring panels as a means to stamping out the problem.
Another said that in their pharmacy they only “hire Muslims as my boss only trusts [people who follow] this religion. I have suggested hiring different ethnicities, but he is so against it”.
Reports of discrimination were not limited to those from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background. Respondents who identified as white mentioned experiences including being “overlooked” for a job that went to a BAME colleague “who was the same nationality as the pharmacists”.
Several respondents reported facing racism from patients as a result of being from eastern Europe. One pharmacy professional said that as an eastern European woman she sometimes receives inappropriate comments from patients, including being told that she should “be happy to go out with English men”. Another respondent said racism can be an issue if patients “see [the] eastern European surname”.