We are delighted to be accredited as Disability Confident Committed to ensure an inclusive environment for disabled staff and students.
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:
The Policy Zone houses documents related to Equality and Diversity.
|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:
Membership, agendas and minutes of meetings can be found here.
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:
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.
The 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.
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.
The University Equal Pay statement 2020 has now been published – copy can be found below:
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
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
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:
There are four forms of discrimination under the Act:
If you have any queries please e-mail email@example.com 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
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.
|Medical Research Facility, Foresterhill||G007|
|Institute of Medical Sciences||1.56|
|University Office||Crush Hall|
|Suttie Centre||117 (1st floor)|
|Sir Duncan Rice Library||130|
|Balgownie Pavilion||No number|
|Johnston Central Block||No number|
|Tackling racism in Higher Education|
To tackle racism on our campus, we first need to learn about the experiences of our community.
In August, Ruth Taylor and Siladitya Bhattacharya spoke with medical students Jessica Eze and Karina Chopra about race equality at the University, and their experiences of racism during their studies. Watch below.
|Share your experiences|
If you would like to share your own experiences, you can do so confidentially using this form.
Listening period on race and racism
The University invites you to contribute to its listening period on race and racism. The purpose of this is to learn from the experiences of staff and students, to ensure that all voices are heard and therefore to normalise open conversations on race. Our work on race equality will be informed by the lived experiences of our community. We want to hear about the real issues and the barriers faced by staff and students and ideas about how best to tackle them. The responses on this form will be reviewed by the Equality and Diversity Adviser and confidentiality will be maintained - you don’t have to provide any identification or contact details if you don’t wish to. Thank you for your participation and support in promoting race equality.
|Black Lives Matter: Staff & Student Updates|
8 July 2020
Dear colleagues and students,
Our stance on racism could not be clearer - this University does not tolerate racist or discriminatory behaviour and we will take action where it occurs.
Like many other institutions we have our own story to tell and we will do so openly and honestly as we pledged in our statement in relation to Black Lives Matter.
Part of that story is about our own historical connections to slavery and we are investing in a new research post investigating those links. It will shine a light on how the University and the North-east of Scotland benefited from the proceeds of the slave trade. It will also explain the role of those connected to the University who were involved in slavery or actively sought its abolition.
Examples of this legacy remain with us - such as some of our campus architecture or financial endowment funds. These too will be highlighted.
Separately, this month we will also launch a new series of listening sessions for students and staff. These will enable us to continue to learn from those prepared to share their own lived experiences, which in turn will shape and inform our anti-racism strategy.
Inclusiveness is a key theme of Aberdeen 2040, we are signatories to the Race Equality Charter and we have also just agreed to work further on tackling racism with our campus trade unions, who have asked for more training for staff, are helping support our racial harassment work and are contributing to the portfolio of planned actions.
Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee has approved the creation of a new Race Equality Strategy Group and we have identified a chair of a soon-to-be launched staff and student race network.
We are grateful to those who have been in touch to share their experiences - including the signatories and supporters of an open letter from the Black Medical Society Aberdeen detailing racist incidents that medical students have experienced in a range of settings. It makes for shocking reading - demonstrating systemic racism and ongoing microaggressions.
The University acted swiftly after receiving the open letter – meeting members of the Black Medical Society and responding to other students in touch with concerns or a wish to share their own experiences.
The matter was raised immediately with health partners; the content of the medical curriculum is being reviewed to make it more inclusive reflecting the diversity of our students and a plurality of perspectives; improvements will be made to emphasise and amplify race equality within equality and diversity training in the School, and an enhanced reporting system for students is also being investigated.
A separate incident involving an image which plays to racist stereotypes that was used on an advert for a degree programme has led to an apology from the University and a commitment to review our approach to using imagery in marketing and other platforms in consultation with AUSA and other stakeholders.
We do not believe these problems are limited to health settings and are likely to be present across the University. Improvements and learning from these issues – and from experiences shared at our listening sessions – will enable us to make changes that will be embedded across our institution.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission Report: Tackling Racial Harassment: Universities Challenged provided further evidence that racism exists in universities. We have analysed its findings and its recommendations will be taken forward by our new Race Equality Strategy Group.
The Black Lives Matter movement has brought a new and much-needed focus to the endemic racism which persists in society and is under-reported.
There is much to do to tackle structural racism in our education and research but we will do whatever is necessary to eliminate it.
George and Cecilia
8 June 2020
Dear Colleagues and Students,
As a University which strives to be open and welcoming, diverse and inclusive, we recognise that the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has prompted sadness, grief, outrage and anxiety in America and across the world. Over the last two weeks we have seen demonstrations across the globe against systemic racism that sadly still exists in our society.
We know that the shock and anger were no less felt across our University community. We wanted to reach out to you all to express the University and AUSA’s solidarity on these events and to offer support.
The University of Aberdeen will not tolerate racist or discriminatory behaviour against any minority group.
We encourage open discussion on race equality, and inclusivity of all minority groups. We urge anyone who has witnessed or experienced racist behaviour to speak out, and your channels for doing so can be found below.
As a society and as a University, we have much more to do to ensure racial equality. There have been times in our history when we as a University have fallen short. We are committed to continuing to support work to tackle racism across the sector, and we wanted to let you know that our University has:
We know there is much to be done still and this includes ensuring our curriculum is fully inclusive and also contributing to tackling the national attainment gap linked to race and ethnicity. Let us absolutely assure you that we will do this with energy, vision and determination.
Our resolve to celebrate diversity and strengthen our approach to inclusion remains fundamental.
We want to hear from our community of staff and students, as we as a University seek to better support staff and students from all backgrounds, to develop our curriculum and reflect on our role as an educator and how we can facilitate change for future generations.
Alternatively, you can also seek support from the AUSA Advice team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or the AUSA Black and Minority Ethnic Students Forum either at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to take action where racism occurs.
George and Cecilia
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
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
A network designed to support staff and students who are parents or carers.
Further information can be gained from Dr Clémence O’Connor
The Women’s Development Network (WDN) is designed to connect female staff, including those who identify as female, at all grades, career paths and ethnic groups in both formal and informal settings. The purpose of the network is to:
The WDN has incorporated previous women’s groups eg Senior Women’s Network and the Aurora Alumni Network, into one entity to ensure that the network is as inclusive as possible. The WDN has a representative on the university’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDIC).
The network normally hosts a formal event four times per annum and members are also encouraged to meet more informally on an ad hoc basis.
The WDN has a small steering group to coordinate activities and the membership of this will be updated on a regular basis. If you’re interested in finding out more and helping shape the WDN, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
As a part of our commitment to create an inclusive environment for all our employees, we have established a new ‘Race Network’ for staff.
The Network is co-convened by Vimal Subramanian (International Strategy Officer, Professional Services, click here for more information) and Ritu Vij (Senior Lecturer, Politics and International Relations, click here for more information) and aims to provide an informal social space to share experiences in a confidential and supported environment, and to promote and contribute to the advancement of race equality in our institution.
Membership of the network is open to all members of staff interested in celebrating and promoting progress and good practice in race equality matters.
If you are interested in the theme of Race or simply wish to be informed on progress, please email email@example.com.
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.
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 @abdn.ac.uk 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
|Awareness-raising: Supporting staff and students who are transgender|
Access the training here.
Vice President Welfare & Equal Opportunities
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.
We are delighted to be accredited as Disability Confident Committed to ensure an inclusive environment for disabled staff and students.
We are proud to be a Diversity Champion and continued supporter of Stonewall Scotland to promote equality in the workplace.
Every School in the University now holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award demonstrating our commitment to advancing gender equality.
The University are excited to launch a new Women’s Development Network, connecting female staff, and those indentifying as female, from all across the University to support their career development
Aurora is the Leadership Foundation's women-only programme which aims to change the under-representation of women in senior leadership positions