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Woman Pharmacist Day

#WomenPharmacistDay: Why empowering women is good for the future of pharmacy

#WomenPharmacistDay: Why empowering women is good for the future of pharmacy

October 7, 2019

Julie Wilson, Essential Insights contributor

The rising influence of women in healthcare – and in pharmacy, specifically – is a topic that can’t be overstated.

When it comes to new entrants into the pharmacy profession, women continue to outpace men – earning 61.9% of the professional pharmacy degrees in 2017. Looking more broadly, women also comprise nearly three fourths of the overall U.S. healthcare workforce.

While women are gravitating toward healthcare (and pharmacy) careers in record numbers, they’re also taking the lead when it comes to making healthcare decisions for their families, at home.

In honor of #WomenPharmacistDay celebrated on Oct. 12, Cindy Pigg, Vice President of Managed Care and Business Development for Cardinal Health,

talks about why more progress still needs to be made when it comes to women claiming their fair share of leadership positions within the field of pharmacy – especially when it comes to pharmacy ownership.

Wilson: Why is empowering women good for the future of pharmacy?

Pigg: The majority of practicing pharmacists are now women – which means that women now play a truly vital role in the delivery of pharmacy care to patients. Our ability to support and empower the professional growth of female pharmacists is now inexorably linked to the future of the profession. We can’t have a thriving profession if we’re not empowering the more than 60% of practicing pharmacists to pursue leadership roles.

Wilson: Which pharmacy leadership roles are most in need of progress when it comes to female representation?

Pigg: Independent pharmacy ownership is one of the pharmacy leadership tracks with significant opportunity for improvement when it comes to female representation. We know that less than 25% of all independent pharmacies are female-owned – even though pharmacy ownership provides pharmacists the opportunity to drive change in the profession and practice at the top of their license. It also provides pharmacists the chance to have daily interaction directly with patients, and to be reimbursed for delivering clinical services.

Wilson: What more can be done to increase the number of women-owned pharmacies?

Pigg: Simply put, more female pharmacists need to be aware of pharmacy ownership as a career option – and they need more support when it comes to pursuing that career path. It’s also important to remember that representation matters – and the truth is that pharmacy ownership has always been dominated by men. Female pharmacists also need to see, and hear from, more female pharmacy owners.

That’s why Cardinal Health launched the Women in Pharmacy initiative in 2012 to help support women pharmacists on the path to ownership, dispel the myths around ownership and partner with organizations leading change.  We’re connecting female pharmacists and student pharmacists with the support, encouragement, mentoring and guidance they need to pursue leadership in pharmacy, including pharmacy ownership.

Wilson: What role does #WomenPharmacistDay play in empowering female pharmacists?

Pigg: #WomenPharmacistDay is an inspiring and easy way to recognize the significant gains that women have made in pursuing careers in pharmacy, and to honor the trailblazers who have made such progress possible. It’s also a great way to celebrate important contributions that women pharmacists make, every day, to deliver quality care to patients nationwide.

Call to action: #WomenPharmacistDay Oct 12th

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By Suzanne Soliman

Dr. Suzanne Soliman earned her PharmD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004. She then completed a residency in primary care with an emphasis on education at Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy and a teaching fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. Suzy worked as a clinical pharmacist, a medical science liaison and national field team educator prior to becoming an Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy. She most recently was an Associate Dean at Touro College of Pharmacy New York and an independent pharmacy owner.

Suzy has 75 publications and has presented at numerous national meetings. She is a Rufus A. Lyman
award recipient which is granted for the best manuscript published in the American Journal of Pharmacy Education. Suzy has served as a medical expert on a number of pharmacy issues and has been a reviewer for Annals of Pharmacotherapy and Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. She has been quoted in “Crain”, “Chicago Business Magazine” and “Time Out Chicago”. Currently, she is the Chief Academic Officer for the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs (ACMA). Her areas of interest are assessment and development of medical affairs professionals.

Suzy loves spending time with her husband and children, cooking, baking and eating!! She recently
started working out and is addicted to the “barre”. For years, she struggled between work/life balance and the support from the Pharmacist Moms Group has really helped her. Ultimately finding that balance is something she works on each day. She tries to live by one of her favorite quotes by Rumi: “Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor”