Please contact Janine Chalmers if you wish to know of any upcoming Equality and Diversity related events at the University.

Vision and Commitment

The University is fully committed to equality for all its staff and students. Equality and Diversity issues relating to both staff and students are the responsibility of the University Court.

The University’s vision is to strive to create an inclusive culture which celebrates the diversity of the University’s staff and students. In recognising that this diversity brings new and engaging perspectives and enriches the experience of all who work, study and visit the University we will take a proactive approach to embedding and mainstreaming the principles of Equality and Diversity by:

  • Driving the agenda at the highest strategic level and throughout the University
  • Communicating the Equality and Diversity Vision and the University’s expectations widely to all staff and students
  • Challenging prejudice and discrimination
  • Sharing experiences and good practice
  • Educating staff and students on Equality and Diversity and their responsibilities
  • Engaging staff and students on Equality and Diversity matters

The Policy Zone houses documents related to Equality and Diversity.

Further information is available from the University's Equality and Diversity Adviser, Janine Chalmers or telephone +44 (0)1224 273883.

Communication and Consultation

The University welcomes feedback on equality policies and initiatives from staff, students and visitors.

If you would like to contribute more fully to the equality agenda or simply make a comment, please do contact the University's Equality and Diversity Adviser, Janine Chalmers or telephone 01224 273883

The University has a Staff Contact Group who regularly assist with policy development and oversight of Equality Impact Assessments.

The Staff Disability Network Group provides feedback on Equality Impact Assessments and discusses issues related to disability.

The University undertakes both staff and student equality and diversity questionnaires every two years. The results help to shape equality and diversity priorities.

The University works closely with the Aberdeen University Students Association (AUSA) to keep informed of the equality and diversity issues raised by students.

The University has held a series of Equality Open Sessions for staff and students. These lunchtime sessions are an opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback on equality and diversity at the University.

The Equality Newsletter and the Staff News e-mails to staff provide an opportunity to share information and promote equality initiatives.

If you would like to know more, or get involved, please do let us know.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee has a remit to:

  1. oversee and be accountable for the University’s Strategy on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for staff and students;
  2. progress the advancement of equality, diversity and inclusion across the University;
  3. review and develop appropriate policies and procedures related to diversity and inclusion;
  4. ensure that all of the legally protected characteristics (as well as mental health and widening participation) are considered;
  5. ensure that legal and regulatory requirements in relation to diversity and inclusion are met;
  6. oversee the University’s progress in the implementation of the Athena SWAN Charter and other equality charter marks where appropriate;
  7. engage with internal and external equality groups to ensure the views of all groups are recognised;
  8. develop and be mindful of an approach which recognises intersectionality.

Minutes of Meetings

Minutes of equality, diversity and inclusion committee – 27 September 2019

Minutes of equality, diversity and inclusion committee - 13 December 2019

British Sign Language

The University is delighted to be publishing its British Sign Language (BSL) Action Plan. The Plan has been developed to enhance and develop further accessibility to the University for BSL users. The Plan has four main aims:

  • Improving access to information and services on campus for BSL users
  • Engaging with local and national partners to increase training and support for BSL interpreters
  • Engaging with school pupils and their families to ascertain support required
  • Ensuring the views of BSL users inform the development and review of the Plan

Working in partnership with staff, students and external contacts will be key to the success of the Plan, particularly as BSL interpretation services are limited in the north-east of Scotland.

If you would like to contribute to the BSL Working Group or provide comments, please contact Janine Chalmers, Equality and Diversity Adviser.

Disability Confident

Disability Confident Committed logoThe University is delighted to be accredited as Disability Confident Committed and strives to ensure that disabled staff and students have the opportunity to work and study in an inclusive, accessible and supportive environment.

Diversity Calendar

The Diversity Calendar shows the key UK and international dates for diversity and inclusion throughout the year. The calendar may help you when planning events or engaging with the University’s diverse staff and student population.

Diversity Calendar

Equal Pay Statement 2020

The University Equal Pay statement 2020 has now been published – copy can be found below:

Gender Action Plan

The University is fully committed to equality for all of its staff and students.  The Gender Action Plan is an extension of the intensive work the University has been undertaking to embed and mainstream the principles of equality and diversity across the University.

The Plan focuses on those factors within the University’s sphere of influence in order that we can work towards ensuring that gender stereotypes and other societal barriers are challenged.

The University’s Gender Action Plan can be found here: Gender Action Plan.pdf

Further information may be obtained from Janine Chalmers


Gender Pay Gap

The University’s latest Gender Pay Gap report can be accessed here 


The report provides a summary of the Gender Pay Gap, the factors affecting the gap within University of Aberdeen and our actions and commitment to eradicating the gap.


To view previous years click below

Inclusion Week 2019

From 4-8 March 2019, the University held an exciting week of activities and events to celebrate the diverse staff and student communities on all its campuses, exchange ideas and promote the University’s commitment to inclusion.

The events were held in partnership with the Campus Trades Unions, the staff equality networks and the Aberdeen University Student Association. In total around 500 members of our community participated, either by attending events, watching them through the live stream option or by contributing to discussion.

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 represents a significant change in equality legislation. The Act has harmonised and streamlined the pre-exisitng legislation. It has also strengthened it, providing more protection from discrimination to more people.

The Act has introduced the concept of 'protected characteristics'. These are the grounds on which it is unlawful to discriminate. The characteristics are:

  • Disability
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Religion/belief
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Pregnancy/maternity
  • Marriage/civil partnership.

There are four forms of discrimination under the Act:

  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation.

If you have any queries please e-mail and you will receive a response as soon as possible.

Equality Impact Assessment

The University has a legal duty to undertake equality impact assessments. This means ensuring that our policies, practices and procedures are fair and inclusive.

The University's Equality and Diversity Impact Assessment Toolkit was agreed in April 2009:

Click on the links to view impact assessments completed to date:

Approved 15 November 2010

Approved 22 March 2011

Approved 12 July 2011

Nursing Facilities

Whilst we welcome breastfeeding in the University’s public areas, we also have a number of first aid rooms throughout campus for nursing mothers who would prefer a quiet, private area to feed or express.

Building Location
Edward Wright G93
MacRobert 033
Medical Research Facility, Foresterhill G007
Cruickshank G14
Zoology G03
Polwarth 0.004
Institute of Medical Sciences 1.56
Fraser Noble 068
University Office Crush Hall
William Guild G20
Rowett Institute 2.043
Suttie Centre 117 (1st floor)
Sir Duncan Rice Library 130
Balgownie Pavilion No number
Meston 037
Students' Union  0.01
OceanLab 2 G12
Johnston Central Block No number


Research Excellence Framework

The University of Aberdeen submitted to the funding councils' Research Excellence Framework in November 2013.

The selection of staff for the submission was governed by the institutional Research Code of Practice, which sets out the processes and structures for selection.

Access The Research Code of Practice.

The institutional Code of Practice was subject to equality impact assessments when it was drawn up, during the selection period and when selection was completed.

Access the final Equality Impact Assessment for the institutional submission process and the proportion of members of staff with protected characteristics under the Equalities Act 2010 in the submission.

If you have any questions about the REF or the selection process, please contact Marlis Barraclough

Staff Equality Network Groups

Disability Network Group

The University is fully committed to equality for all of its staff and students. The University has a Disabled Staff Network Group, open to both disabled staff and those with an interest in disability issues. The group aims to provide support for disabled staff and those with an interest in disability in the workplace, to share information and consider good practice, and to provide recommendations to enhance University policy where appropriate.

The Disabled Staff Network Group meets regularly with meetings advertised via StaffNet and our internal Disabled Staff Network Group mailing list. Meetings are generally held on campus at lunchtime. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, in complete confidence, please contact Janine Chalmers.

Chairs of the network are David Hutchison and Mark Paterson.

LGBT Staff Network Group

The University is fully committed to equality for all of its staff and students. The University has an LGBT+ Staff Network Group, open to both LGBT+ staff, LGBT+ Postgraduate Students, and those with an interest in LGBT issues.

  • LGBT+ Staff and Postgraduate Student Network Group

The LGBT Staff Network Group first met in November 2013, and is now run by a small committee:

All members of the committee are happy to be contacted to discuss the activities of the group and issues affecting LGBT+ staff and research postgraduates. All discussions will be treated in confidence.

The Network Group meets regularly with meetings advertised via Facebook, StaffNet and our internal LGBT mailing list. Some meetings are held on campus at lunchtimes, while other events take place outwith working hours in other venues. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, in complete confidence, please contact

  • LGBT+ Staff contacts

Some members of the network group act as volunteer contacts who are happy to talk to both staff and students. If you would like to talk to someone from the network group, to make contact before an event or as a new member of staff or student, details are listed below. They would be delighted to hear from you.

Menopause Network

The Menopause Network aims to raise awareness of the potential impact of the menopause at work and provide a support mechanism for staff who are experiencing the menopause.

Please contact Janine Chalmers for more information.

Parent's Network

A network designed to support staff and students who are parents or carers.

Further information can be gained from Dr Clémence O’Connor

Women's Network

As part of International Women’s Day 2020, the University are excited to launch a new Women’s Development Network. This inclusive network is designed to connect female staff, including those who identify as female, from all grades and areas of the University and support their career development through an exciting agenda of inspirational talks, training, mentoring and networking events.

Members of existing networks such as the new Aurora Alumni Network are more than welcome to join us, share experiences and ideas of how we can support our female staff. If you’re interested in finding out more and helping shape this network, please email Dr Rhiannon Thompson

Senior Women's Network

The Senior Women’s Network has a remit to:

  • further equality of opportunity for women across the University
  • share ideas, experiences, knowledge and opportunities to support women in their careers
  • raise issues, concerns or ideas with University Senior Management to facilitate positive change
  • support the creation and development of other networks across the University.

Further information may be obtained from Janine Chalmers.


The University has launched an Equality and Diversity e-training facility for all staff. The e-training is an easy way to ensure your knowledge on Equality and Diversity matters is up-to-date.  This will help to ensure that the University creates a learning and working environment which is accessible and inclusive.

Training Modules

Two modules are available. 'Diversity in the Workplace' provides basic training on the legislative framework and its practical implications. All staff are required to complete this module.

The second module, 'Diversity in Teaching and Learning', focuses on the specific issues for teaching staff. It allows colleagues to reflect on their teaching practice and provides guidance regarding developing an inclusive learning environment. Staff with teaching responsibilities should complete this module in addition to the 'Diversity in the Workplace' training.

Each module will take approximately 60-90 minutes to complete. They can be started, saved and returned to at your convenience. The modules work best on a PC. For the 'Diversity in the Workplace' module we recommend using Internet Explorer as your web browser, and enabling flash.

Note that your username is your email address and the default password is password. Please change your password when you first log in.

If you are having any difficulties with registering or accessing the training modules, please contact Human Resources - email:



Launched in November 2013, the Leadership Foundation's women-only development programme was created to help combat the underrepresentation of women in senior leadership positions, as evidenced in their research.

Aurora is a leadership development initiative that combines education, mentoring and on-line resources to provide learning with a more enduring impact. Aurora provides an additional opportunity for women to influence their institutions and to develop leadership skills. The core areas Aurora will address are:

  • Understanding organisations and the sector
  • Developing leadership behaviours, skills and knowledge
  • Identifying and overcoming barriers and obstacles
  • Growing confidence and a leadership identity
  • Building networks, coalitions and support processes

These are addressed through a combination of development days, self-directed learning from on-line resources, cross-institutional action learning sets and in-house mentoring.

Aurora is for women up to senior lecturer and professional services equivalent, and participants will be asked to:

  • attend each of the four development days, and the action learning set day organised by participants in their assigned groups
  • undertake self-directed learning throughout the programme, aligned with developing interests and where time allows
  • commit to working with a mentor which is provided by their institution
  • and be prepared to participate in a longitudinal study to measure the impact of Aurora over time.

To find out more, please download the Aurora Brochure  or visit their programme website.

Awareness-raising: Supporting staff and students who are transgender

Access the training here.

Useful Links
Internal Links
  • Aberdeen University Student Association operates an Equality Committee. To find out more about this Committee please contact:

Vice President Welfare & Equal Opportunities

Aberdeen University Student's Association
f: 01224 27 2977

  • To find how disabled students can be supported during their time at the University please click here
  • The University is fully committed to supporting disabled job applicants, disabled employees and employees who become disabled in the course of their employment.
  • Our legal responsibilities are important to us, however, the moral and business case for creating an inclusive work and study environment form the basis of the strategic and operational priorities.
  • Disabled applicants and employees are supported in a number of ways:
    • Guaranteed Interview Scheme
      Disabled applicants can opt into the Guaranteed Interview Scheme if they wish. The Scheme is voluntary and offers an interview to applicants who meet the "Essential Criteria" in the Person Specification.
      For further information on the Guaranteed Interview Scheme email Janine Chalmers, Equality and Diversity Adviser or telephone 01224 273883
    • Adjustments
      The University will make reasonable adjustments to allow a disabled employee to undertake their duties. This could, for example, be a change to the employee's workstation, working hours, working methods or duties.
    • Source of Support
      Disabled employees can seek advice and support from:
      • HR Adviser
      • Equality and Diversity Adviser
      • University Safety Adviser
      • Trade Union
      • Occupational Health Service
      • University Counselling Service
External Links

You may also find these external links to equality organisations of interest:

You can find details of religious holidays and festivals from the BBC website.