Gender equity is a ‘founding principle, not a KPI’

Gender equity is a ‘founding principle, not a KPI’

Today, on International Women’s Day (IWD), the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) is proudly celebrating the collective achievements of women, and raising our voice on the impact of bias holding back the power and potential of the world’s 3.8 billion women and girls.

The theme of this year’s IWD is #BreakTheBias, highlighting a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination in a world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive – where our differences are valued and celebrated.

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says International Women’s Day is not a moment in time to pause and reflect, it is a reminder to consider if breaking bias is embedded in our daily actions and to challenge bias when we see it.

‘Whether they be decisions relating to selection panels, planning committees, or in day-to-day management, we must always be alert to differences in how people present themselves, how to recognise bias in ourselves and others, and how to recognise unreasoned judgement. In this way, we are all living the message of International Women’s Day all year round.’

‘I believe the strongest path for women to attain leadership roles is by “lowering the ladder”, ensuring the next generation of leaders have the role models, mentors, supporters and the environments in which gender equity is a founding principle, not a key performance indicator (KPI).

‘SHPA is proud to reflect the composition of our profession among our leadership year after year.’

SHPA membership currently comprises 76% women Hospital Pharmacists and Technicians, with women leading 19 of SHPA’s 27 Specialty Practice Leadership Committees that shape clinical practice and achievement, while women represent 70% of SHPA’s Board of Directors and 66% of the SHPA Executive team.

Ms Michaels says the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic has not halted important progress on leadership and board diversity, and national campaigns on gender equity, safety and opportunity.

‘A standout is the #SafetyRespectEquity campaign, led by a consortium of influential Australian women, providing real change for Australian women and girls.

‘We can – and must – act on building an environment that provides a safe place to work, a safe place to live, fair and equal pay, free high-quality early learning and care for our children, and a justice system that works for survivors.

‘We will only #BreaktheBias if we recognise that balance requires us to question all beliefs we hold about traditional roles, men and women, ambition and caring, and home and work.’