The number of women pharmacists is continuing to surge, according to the latest Australian workforce data.
The number increased by 1216 in the two years to 2015, compared with 226 men in the same period.
At the time, there were 29,414 registered pharmacists, with 18,038 (or 61%) of them women.
However, men work longer hours than women (39 versus 33.5 a week).
Caroline Diamantis (pictured), who has been a pharmacist for over 30 years, says women are attracted to the profession because it’s rewarding and flexible.
“Women who may be thinking of having a family can combine casual and part-time work and they can continue that for years.”
Ms Diamantis, who has recently been appointed to the Pharmacy Guild’s NSW branch committee, says one of her goals is to encourage more women into pharmacy ownership.
The Guild recently revealed that only 30% of its member owners are women.
Ms Diamantis believes it’s often a “metal block” issue, with many women considering ownership too hard to juggle with family life.
However, going into partnership is a “fabulous approach” that could allow them to enjoy ownership with support.
Honor Penprase, one of three women owners of Capital Chemist Wanniassa, says partnership can actually increase work flexibility.
She says a number of women interns express interest in pharmacy ownership. But the support they receive appears to depend on the culture of the banner group.
Within the Capital Group, young pharmacists who express interest in ownership are mentored by the current owner.
Their name is also put forward for future partnership opportunities, though usually in a different pharmacy.
The workforce data also shows:
- Pharmacists are entering the profession faster than they are leaving. There were 1.7 new registrations for every pharmacist who didn’t renew their registration.
- Community pharmacists make up two-thirds of the sector. Twenty per cent work in hospitals.
- On average pharmacists intend to work in the profession for 34 year.