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FIPWiSE: Women in Science and Education initiative

  What is FIPWiSE? 
  FIPWiSE priority work streams
  Highlights from FIPWiSE’s activities
  FIPWiSE Rising Stars initiative
  FIPWiSE toolkit for positive practice environments for women in science and education
  Show your support with the FIPWiSE social media package
  FIPWiSE resources

What is FIPWiSE?

FIPWiSE (Women in Science and Education) is an initiative that was launched on 11 February 2020 on the United Nations’ International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

FIPWiSE aspires to champion and enable women in pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy education to achieve their fullest potential, and to attract female students and young professionals into these fields. It is currently chaired by Claire Thompson (UK) and its activities are delivered by an international group of volunteer women in science and education.

Watch the “FIPWiSE Words” launch video and learn about FIPWiSE’s vision, mission and priority advocacy areas here.


FIPWiSE priority work streams

During 2020, we began building our FIPWiSE community and raising awareness. Achieving gender equity and empowering women while leaving no one behind is not a solo sport. We therefore recognise and take this opportunity to thank all FIPWiSE team members, supporters and partners. You can read the FIPWiSE 2020 activity report here.

FIPWiSE will focus on the following work streams for action:

1. Building confidence in competence;
2. Acting for enabling workplace environments in science and education; and
3. Supporting young professional women and female students to thrive in science and education.
4. Global implementation of the FIP Development Goal 10 – Equity and Equality to address equity and diversity inequalities in pharmaceutical workforce development, continued education and training, and career progression opportunities.

Watch the “FIPWiSE Words” first anniversary video and learn about FIPWiSE’s exciting plans for 2021 and beyond here.


Highlights from FIPWiSE’s activities

FIPWiSE Words video series

We released the FIPWiSE Words video series alongside the launch of FIPWiSE on February 11 2020, which allows women and their male allies in science and education to share their stories.
Here are some video series:

For all FIPWiSE Words video series, please visit here.

FIPWiSE & Fearless podcast series

Hosted by FIPWiSE chair Claire Thompson, the “FIPWiSE & Fearless” podcasts features interviews with women in pharmaceutical science and education. Listeners will learn how speakers have carved their career paths, and the challenges they have faced along the way. We will also hear about when they have been fearless, and what happened as a result.

  • Episode 1: Vibhuti Arya, FIP Workforce Development Hub lead for FIP Development Goal 10 – Equity & Equality (USA).
  • Episode 2: Sini Eskola, Director, Regulatory, Drug Development and Manufacturing EFPIA (Belgium)
  • Episode 3: Reenu Yadav, Vice president, Human rights & social justice committee, Professor, Dean & Scientist (India)

For all FIPWiSE & Fearless episodes, please visit here

FIPWiSE Women’s Leadership Lab

Women are powerful agents of change, and the benefits and effectiveness of equitable representation in leadership and decision-making are evident. To discuss the under-representation of women in decision-making processes, FIPWiSE organised an influential virtual leadership lab alongside the FIP Virtual 2020 Congress. We featured the following inspirational speakers:

  • Meltem Agduk, gender programme coordinator at the United Nations Population Fund, Turkey;
  • Nadia Abdelhadi, North Africa country manager, Medtronic, Algeria;
  • Christina Chai, head of pharmacy department, National University of Singapore, Singapore;
  • Leonora O’Brien, founder & CEO, Pharmapod, Ireland;
  • Vibhuti Arya Amirfar, associate clinical professor at St John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and clinical advisor to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, USA; and
  • Aya Jamal, president, International Pharmaceutical Students Federation, Sudan.

The full recording of the virtual leadership lab is available here.

FIPWiSE Web Panel: “COVID-19: Women front and centre”

The FIPWiSE Web Panel, part of FIP’s “Responding to the pandemic together” series, took place in June 2020.The session was moderated by Claire Thompson, FIPWiSE chair (UK) and facilitated by Nilhan Uzman, lead for education policy and implementation, FIPWiSE programme lead (The Netherlands).

Featured in the web panel were a diverse group of panellists:

  • Mariam El Boakye-Gyasi, senior lecturer, academic capacity lead, FIPWiSE member (Ghana);
  • Ecehan Balta, senior advisor to the president, Turkish Pharmacists Association, FIPWiSE member (Turkey);
  • Rajani Shakya, head, Kathmandu University, AIM Advisory Committee member; FIPWiSE member (Nepal); and
  • Anyango Esther, intern, hospital pharmacist, FIPWiSE member and intern (Kenya).

You can watch the web panel here.

FIP Young Pharmacists’ Group (YPG) Mentorship Programme

FIPWiSE is collaborating with FIP YPG on a mentorship programme to support young women professionals by recognising the gender-specific challenges they face in areas of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy education.

FIPWiSE provided mentors from the FIPWiSE community who are linked up with mentees. The mentors are linked with their mentees for a period of nine months, with the intention of setting goals, providing general advice, tips and strategies to navigate gender-specific challenges, and helping both young female and male pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists to keep on track of their career development.

To learn more about this programme, visit here.

Supporting young professionals and students against COVID-19 related disruptions to education and research

FIPWiSE released a special edition newsletter featuring stories of young female professionals and pharmacy students and how they adapted to learning under the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a common undertone of hope and persistence in all the stories. You can read the newsletter here.

EquityRx women in pharmacy blogs

FIPWiSE contributes to the EquityRx women in pharmacy blogs to offer a platform to women in the pharmacy profession to talk about their career development and share views on gender equity in pharmacy.
You may access the blogs here.

FIPWiSE Rising Stars initiative

To celebrate the 2nd anniversary of FIPWiSE, on International Day of Women and Girls in Science, FIP launched a new initiative: the FIPWiSE Rising Stars list.

An annual list of “FIPWiSE Rising Stars” will recognise exceptional women in pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy education, selected by a FIPWiSE panel, based on achievements, innovations, and significant impacts made. The list aims to foster equity, equality, diversity and inclusion among individuals, organisations and policy makers.

You can watch the video to find more about FIPWiSE Rising Stars initiative:

2022 FIPWiSE Rising Stars

You may get to know 2022 FIPWiSE rising stars and tune in to the video chats from here.

The FIPWiSE Rising Stars list aims to encourage and inspire women in pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy education, sitting alongside existing mentorship programmes. Please see below the suggestion criteria:

1. A pharmacist, pharmaceutical scientist or pharmaceutical educator;
2. Who identifies as female;
3. Who has had no more than 15 years in their current career from their latest degree* (This criterion is subject to opportunity for taking career breaks or working part-time into account);  
4. And who can demonstrate achievements, innovation and/or impact in pharmaceutical sciences and/or pharmacy education (including pharmaceutical practice research) and being a pathfinder in the profession, despite challenges in her career path.

*Post BPharm/MPharm/PharmD, if the applicant’s current career is in pharmacy and is therefore as a result of these degrees; OR post BSc/MSc/PhD, if the applicant’s current career is in pharmaceutical sciences or in academia, research or industry, where the degree is required to be able to hold their position.

FIPWiSE toolkit for positive practice environments for women in science and education

FIP’s initiative for Women in Science and Education has built on the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) Positive Practice Environments Campaign and developed the “FIPWiSE toolkit for positive practice environments for women in science and education” (FIPWiSE toolkit) to identify and address inequalities in workplace environments that affect women in these fields. The toolkit is designed to raise awareness and provide possible solutions for individuals, employers and institutions that can enable positive practice environments for women in pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy education, and provides learnings that are transferable across the entire pharmaceutical workforce.

In the FIPWiSE toolkit, you can explore key factors that have influence on practice environments and find practical solutions to enable positive practice environments tailored for professionals in science and education, employers (e.g., academic and research institutions, pharmaceutical industry) and policy makers (e.g., national professional bodies).

The FIPWiSE toolkit includes interviews on positive practice environments with Dr Roopa Dhatt, executive director of Women in Global Health, USA, and Howard Catton, WHPA 2021 chair and CEO of the International Council of Nurses, Switzerland.

We invite you to utilise the FIPWiSE toolkit to stand up for positive practice environments by:

  • Circulating it on your social media, across your educational and scientific networks, in your university or organisation’s newsletters, and at events and lectures you attend;
  • Amplifying the campaign messages by sharing the social media cards (which can be found in FIPWiSE toolkit Chapter 4) on your social media, or on your presentations;
  • Printing and displaying the campaign poster (which can be found in FIPWiSE toolkit Chapter 4) at your workplace to pledge your commitment to positive practice environments;
  • Chairing sessions on positive practice environments at conferences, giving keynote speeches, and presenting the FIPWiSE toolkit at national meetings;
  • Running workshops to educate your employees on the benefits of positive practice environments;
  • Using the case studies in the FIPWiSE toolkit to make the case for positive practice environments to your employer or government;
  • Advocating with government and other key decision makers to mainstream positive practice environments; and
  • Celebrating if your workplace is already a positive practice environment and sharing your good practices with FIP at


To find out more about FIPWiSE and the FIPWiSE working group, please contact

Show your support with the FIPWiSE social media package

You can show your support for FIPWiSE by using the content below on your social media accounts. Simply click to send a Tweet, use the graphic with your own message, or update your social media profile picture with the FIPWiSE Twibbon.


#Universities! Set strategic, institution-wide objectives on gender and cultural diversity. #FIPWiSE #TransformPharmacy #Pharmacy ✊ - Click to Tweet
Funders! Promote gender equality in access to seed capital, angel investors, venture capital & similar start-up funding for life-saving #pharmaceutical research #FIPWiSE #WomenInScience ✊ - Click to Tweet
#Employers! Improve career options & establish more family-friendly work environments for #WomenInScience #FIPWiSE ✊ - Click to Tweet
#Employers! Offer more formal mentoring & leadership development opportunities for #WomenInScience & #pharmaceutical education #FIPWiSE #TransformPharmacy ✊ - Click to Tweet
Let’s support & inspire students and young women to pursue roles in #pharmaceutical education & #PharmaceuticalSciences, including through scholarships & awards. ✊ - Click to Tweet
I am a #WomanInScience. I support #FIPWiSE Join the movement! #PharmaceuticalSciences - Click to Tweet
I am a woman in #pharmaceutical education. I support #FIPWiSE Join the movement! #TransformPharmacy - Click to Tweet
I am in #PharmaceuticalSciences. I support #FIPWiSE Join the movement! - Click to Tweet
I am in a #pharmaceutical education. I support #FIPWiSE Join the movement! #TransformPharmacy - Click to Tweet
I support #FIPWiSE Join me! - Click to Tweet



Help support FIPWiSE, add a Twibbon to your social media profile image now!


FIPWiSE resources

We collect inspiring and empowering resources to support women in pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy education. They include articles, books, videos and assessments. We will continue to update this list of resources as we explore them.


  • "The gifts of imperfection" by Brene Brown
  • "Humble leadership: The power of relationships, openness and trust" by Edgar and Peter Schein
  • "Together: The healing power of human connection in a sometimes lonely world" by Vivek Murthy — Talks about the importance of creating supporting circles that are intimate, nurturing and inclusive.
  • Gender in the workforce, Harvard Business Review; see, for example here.



Last update 1 August 2022

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