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PDA member speaks at STUC Anti-Racist Conference

PDA member and co-opted member of the PDA LGBT+ Committee, Soh Xi Ken took part in the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) Anti-Racist Conference and participated in every session of the conference as part of a panel of expert speakers. Here Soh Xi Ken reflects on the conference and key topics discussed.

Wed 8th November 2023 The PDA

I was honoured to be invited to speak on the panel for the STUC’s Anti-Racist Conference. Racism is persistent in the UK, whether institutional or personal. Panellists at the conference highlighted the health inequalities minority ethnic patients faced during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic alongside the disproportionate deaths of Black, minority ethnic healthcare workers. This was due to many reasons, one of them being related to more high-risk patient-facing activities and not being provided with options for safer working environments.

The PDA produced an Anti-Racist Pharmacy Toolkit, which can help members tackle racism at work. Members can use this to survey overt discrimination at work, well-being, leadership representation, opportunities for progression and more.

For my contribution, I highlighted the need for equitable distribution of leadership positions but in a way that does not entrench existing barriers for minority ethnic people. Systems should be reviewed and hiring practices challenged. 

In a separate point, I talked about intersectionality and how various identities can make one’s life easier or harder. Recognising one’s privilege can go a long way to understanding the complexities of our individual identities. 

Finally, I mentioned the emotional labour that minority ethnic people go through in our everyday lives and to help make our lives easier to undertake some of that emotional labour. Challenging racist attitudes from those close to me is particularly difficult but it is perhaps a more effective conversation compared to if they were talking to a stranger or someone they cared less about.

By PDA member and co-opted member of the PDA LGBT+ Committee, Soh Xi Ken

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