For decades men have outnumbered women in pharmacy, but the tides are shifting, and not only are women in the profession growing in numbers; they're leading the way.
In 1970, according to the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), women accounted for only 13% of the pharmacy workforce; however, the latest data from the 2009 National Pharmacist Workforce Survey prepared by the Midwest Pharmacy Workforce Research Consortium show that by 2009 that number had increased to 46.4%.
It's a trend that is expected only to grow. HHS has estimated that by 2020, a majority — approximately 62% — of active pharmacists will be women.
As the numbers of women practicing pharmacy increase, so do the numbers of women assuming leadership roles in the industry, whether through owning their own stores, assuming corporate roles, or advocating for change in Washington.
The 2009 National Pharmacist Workforce Survey found that the number of women pharmacists who were in owner or partner positions had grown from 2.3% in 2000 to 8.1% in 2009.
Compensation is also growing. The latest research shows that the median woman working full-time as a pharmacist now earns 92 cents for every dollar a man earns.