Women in pharmacy : a Delphi survey of the attitudes and beliefs of practising pharmacists in Saskatchewan
Jensen, Karen Ann
Although the percentage of women in all traditionally male-dominated professions has increased, this change has occurred more rapidly in pharmacy. Women now make up more than 50 % of practising pharmacists in Canada. The purposes of this study were: a) to identify and compare the attitudes and beliefs of practising male and female pharmacists about women's issues in the pharmacy workplace and about professional issues arising from the increased proportion of women in pharmacy and b) to increase the awareness of practising male and female pharmacists about these issues through the process of the survey. The research method was a two-round Policy Delphi survey. Four hundred sample subjects were randomly selected from the population of practising Saskatchewan pharmacists. The response rate to the first questionnaire was 60.8 %. The response rate to the second questionnaire (mailed only to those sample subjects who replied to the first questionnaire) was 66.7 %. Male and female participants felt the following gender issues in the pharmacy workplace should be addressed: balancing work and family responsibilities, equality and equity of pharmacists' salaries, and sexual harassment. Female participants also felt that working conditions for women in the pharmacy workplace should be addressed. Professional issues which female participants (but not male participants) felt should be addressed were: women's commitment to the pharmacy profession and the increase in part-time pharmacist positions. In general, female participants expressed more concern about these issues, while male participants expressed stronger beliefs that the current situation in regard to these issues was satisfactory. Neither male nor female participants believed that the increased proportion of women in pharmacy had affected, or would affect, pharmacists' salaries, pharmacists' control of the pharmacy workplace, or the status of the profession. Overall, participants did not feel that gender was an important issue in pharmacy. The indicators used to measure learning suggest that participation in the survey increased participants' awareness and understanding of gender issues in the pharmacy workplace and in the profession of pharmacy.