While women made up only 8% of all U.S. pharmacists as recently as the 1960s, women currently comprise 55% of the pharmacist workforce, and the number of those practicing is on the rise. Approximately 61% of the 14,000 PharmDs earned in the U.S. in 2016 were earned by women.
“The statistical increase of female pharmacists is inspiring; women are particularly well positioned to serve as trusted healthcare resources, especially for fellow women,” said Eden Sulzer, director of the Women in Pharmacy initiative at Cardinal Health, Women Pharmacist Day sponsor. “Women make an average of 80% of the healthcare purchasing decisions for their families – and often serve as caregiver for their children and aging parents.”
Sulzer said she sees Women Pharmacist Day as an excellent opportunity to celebrate the significant gains women have made in pursuing careers in pharmacy, while honoring the trailblazers who have made such progress possible.
Women Pharmacist Day was founded by Dr. Suzanne Soliman, a pharmacist who is also founder of PharmacistMomsGroup.com, a not-for-profit organization that offers support, resources and a professional network for pharmacist moms. The group has grown in just one year to over 16,000 pharmacist moms and continues to grow daily. Soliman chose October because it marks National Pharmacist Month; she chose the 12th day of the month to honor the legendary first female pharmacist in the U.S., Elizabeth Gooking Greenleaf, who had 12 children and is an inspiring role model for thousands of women who dream of becoming a pharmacist.
“Whether you’re a pharmacy student, practicing pharmacist, pharmacy educator, pharmacy association, female pharmacy owner, or an advocate for the advancement of women within healthcare, we invite you to get involved in Women Pharmacist Day,” said Soliman.
Soliman said that multiple colleges of pharmacy across the United States are hosting #WomenPharmacistDay themed events, bringing alumnae and students together to encourage career mentoring within the pharmacy profession, discuss career paths within pharmacy, and explore ways to increase female representation in pharmacy leadership roles. She also said that several colleges of pharmacy, pharmacy associations and healthcare companies have issued formal statements supporting Women Pharmacist Day, including Cardinal Health chief executive officer Mike Kaufmann.
“Cardinal Health is proud to sponsor the inaugural Women Pharmacist Day,” said Kaufmann. “Our commitment to female leadership within healthcare is long-standing, and we sincerely thank the fellow companies, pharmacy schools, pharmacy associations, pharmacy educators, practicing pharmacists and pharmacy students joining us in support of Women Pharmacist Day.”
According to Soliman, the easiest way to support Women Pharmacist Day is to share your stories via social media.
“Practicing and student female pharmacists, let us know why you’re pursuing a career in pharmacy. Recognize the role models and mentors who have paved the way for your career. Thank a pharmacist or pharmacy educator who has positively impacted your life. And make sure to use the hashtag #WomenPharmacistDay, so we can amplify each other’s voices!”
Learn how you can get involved with #WomenPharmacistDay at