About Us
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.

The University also has a dedicated diversity e-mail account diversity@abdn.ac.uk which you can use if you prefer.

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 also has a dedicated diversity e-mail account diversity@abdn.ac.uk which you can use if you prefer.

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.

Advisory Group

he University's Advisory Group on Equality and Diversity has a remit to provide advice and assistance to the Vice Principal with responsibility for Equality and Diversity on all matters of policy development and implementation, and to assist in the promotion of a culture where equality and diversity are recognised as contributing to the strength of the University.

The Group comprises representatives from across the University.

Harrasment Adviser Network

The University Harassment Adviser Service aims to provide support to employees who feel they are experiencing bullying or harassment in the workplace.

If you feel you are being bullied or harassed at work then you may find a discussion with a Harassment Adviser to be beneficial.

You can contact any of the Harassment Advisers and request to meet with them.  The discussion will take place in a location that you are fully comfortable with.

Your Harassment Adviser will listen to your concerns and will be guided by your preferences regarding how you wish to proceed.  The Adviser may provide you with alternative sources of support which you had not previously considered.

Together you will decide what your next steps could be and your Harassment Adviser will provide information on the routes open to you.

Harassment Advisers are not trained counsellors or mediators and so their remit does not include these activities.  They will, however, be able to provide advice on the University providers of these services.

The conversations will, unless in very exceptional circumstances, be kept in the strictest confidence.

Please click here to access the list of University Harassment Advisers

Athena SWAN

New Athena SWAN logo 220x107

Recognising commitment to the advancement of gender equality in academia, addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines, professional and support functions and removing the obstacles faced by women

The Athena SWAN Charter was developed by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to combating the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM), and advancing the careers of women in STEMM research and academia. In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women. The Charter now recognises work supporting and embedding equality in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. 

The University of Aberdeen has been a proud member of the Athena SWAN Charter and has been committed to the Athena SWAN principles since 2011, working to ensure a diverse, inclusive and empowering work and study atmosphere for staff and students. In 2012, the University was awarded the prestigious Athena SWAN Bronze award, our ongoing commitment to the advancement and promotion of careers and personal development of women in STEMM was further recognised in April 2017, when ECU renewed the University's Bronze Award for a further three years.

A dedicated Athena SWAN team work to ensure the Athena SWAN principles are embedded across the University and offer support to Schools and Departments with Athena SWAN actions and submissions.

The University's submission and Action Plan can be found here: University of Aberdeen Athena SWAN Bronze

Self Assessment Team

The Athena SWAN Charter requires Institutions to establish a Self-Assessment Team (SAT) to support submissions and monitor progress.  Our SAT has a diverse membership from across the University, comprising a range of career levels from undergraduate to Heads of Schools and Heads of College, and is chaired by Professor Neva Haites. The SAT are Athena SWAN Champions for their areas and meet every 8 weeks with a focus on reviewing the Athena SWAN Institutional Action Plan and associated impacts, linking departmental and institutional submissions and identifying short/medium/long-term activities. If you are interested in joining the SAT please email athenaswan@abdn.ac.uk.



Professor Neva Haites OBE (Chair)

Vice Principal for Development and Equality and Diversity

Anagboso, Chukwuemeka Anthony

HR Specialist Services Partner

Professor Elizabeth Baggs

Head of School of Biological Sciences

Dr Stephen Bowden

Lecturer, Organic Geochemistry

Christina Cameron

Policy Officer, Policy, Planning and Governance

Dr Maria Grazia Cascio.

Athena SWAN Co-ordinator in the CLSM

Janine Chalmers

Equality and Diversity Adviser

Genna Clarke

Welfare President, AUSA

Dr Julie Crockett

Senior Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Cell Biology

Dr Mirela Delibegovic

Reader in Medical Sciences

Professor Helen Galley

Professor in Institute of Medical Sciences

Professor Miep Helfriech

Professor of Bone Cell Biology in the Division of Applied   Medicine; Lead for Athena SWAN - School of Medicine and Dentistry Champion for the College mentoring scheme

Dr Ana Ivanovic

Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering, Programme leader for Civil Engineering discipline, the School of Engineering Equality and  Diversity Coordinator and a member of COPS Equality and Diversity Team as well as the School of Engineering SAT

Dr Margaret Jackson

Lecturer in the School of Psychology  

(2012-date; first lectureship position)

Dr Lucy Leiper

Senior Researcher Development Adviser

Centre for Academic Development

Susan MacLennan

Training and Development Partner, Human Resources Section

Dr Douglas Martin

Senior Lecturer, Psychology

Professor Judith Masthoff

Personal Chair, Computing Science

Dr Nimesh Mody

Lecturer in the School of Medical Sciences

Advisor for Research Staff Association

Personal mentor for Early-Career Researchers

Professor Margaret Ross

Professor of Law, Solicitor

Vice Principal and Head of College of Arts and Social Sciences

Jennifer Sewel

Director of Policy

Planning and Governance

Professor Jan Skakle

Head of School of Natural and Computing Sciences

Dr Kenneth Skeldon MBE

Head of Public Engagement Events and Festivals

Linda Sommerlade

Research fellow in the School of Natural and Computing Sciences

Carol Stannard

Assistant College Registrar


Dr Rhiannon Thompson

Athena SWAN Officer

David Vega-maza

Lecturer in Engineering


There are many benefits associated with Athena SWAN membership and institutional and departmental Awards. Subjects cannot reach their full potential unless they can benefit from the talents of the whole population, and until women and men can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.

The University of Aberdeen's continued commitment to the Principles of Athena SWAN will have the following positive impacts:

  • The creation of a diverse and empowered community
  • A positive working environment for all staff, researchers and students
  • Attracting and retaining high-calibre staff, researchers and students

Departments benefit further by establishing action plans tailored to their staff and research needs:

  • Combating equality and diversity issues that may be unique to the field / department
  • Establishing good working practices, staff development and flexible working
  • Facilitating the creation of a working environment conducive to world-leading research
  • Some funding bodies require evidence of actions addressing gender inequality in research

The process of having staff and students involved in the Departmental SATs ensures voices are heard and local changes are made.

It is clear that Athena SWAN awards are becoming an indicator of progress on equality generally and a key eligibility criterion for research funders when awarding funding. In some funding areas, it is likely in that future Athena SWAN accreditation will be required for funds.

Research Councils UK (RCUK) stated in 2013 that Institutions in receipt of funding are required to evidence a culture change towards equality, identifying participation in Athena SWAN as a recommended source of evidence. They have indicated that membership of equality and diversity accreditation schemes, such as Athena SWAN, may become mandatory criteria for eligibility for funding.

Whilst Professor Dame Sally Davies (the Chief Medical Officer) wrote to the Medical Schools Council in July 2011 to provide notification that only Medical Schools with an Athena SWAN Silver Award would be considered eligible for Biomedical Research Centre and Unit (BRC/BRU) funding by 2016.

Case Studies

Flexible Working

Jackie Duncan, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health
I changed my hours when my first son started school in 2008, changing to Term time so I could have the school holidays. This also avoids having to pay for expensive summer camps or childcare to cover some of the six week summer holiday.

Then when my twin boys started school 4 years later I kept the Term time but also changed my hours to starting early at 7am and finishing at 2:40pm, to allow me to collect my children from school at 3pm. This allows me to take them to after school clubs such as swimming lessons, more homework time and avoids having to pay for 3 children at afterschool club (which at £8-50 per day times 3 kids would have amounted to £127.50 per week or £510 per month).

My husband who also works for the University so he comes in a little bit later at 9:15am after dropping the boys at school and works later. He takes the public holidays off and covers the inservice days. So between us we manage to work around school hours, holidays and in service days.

Starting early also fits in well with the human studies I am involved in as many volunteers like to come in early before they go to their work.

Masterclass for Women

Nooreen Akhtar, Division of Applied Medicine (Psychiatry)

Public speaking and research communication masterclass for Women in Science. Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock’s enthusiasm and passion for science is infectious. As she talked about her journey from a PhD to the host of The Sky at Night, I found myself fantasising about having my own programme or becoming the next Brian Cox of the medical documentary world. The course itself was very different to the other public engagement workshops I had been to before. In between talks about projecting confidence and capturing your audience’s eye, there were sessions where we were put in front of the camera and asked to pretend that we were presenting our own research in a documentary. Initially I was nervous of watching the playback of the recordings but it was amazing to see the changes in my confidence and body language as the day went on. I had started out as someone who was constantly fidgeting and struggling to maintain eye contact with the camera, to someone who looked like they had been presenting all their life.

I’ve noticed that I still use several of the acquired skills in my professional and personal life. In meetings I find it easier to engage with the other attendees and discuss issues with colleagues a lot more senior to me. When it comes to meeting new people I am able to project a more confident version of myself rather than the shy girl who constantly fidgets and stares at her shoes.

Memberships and Awards

The University of Aberdeen became a member of the Athena SWAN Charter in 2011, embedding the 10 Athena SWAN Principles within our policies, practices, action plans and culture.

There are three levels of Athena SWAN awards: Bronze (planning), Silver (doing), Gold (sustaining), with the University currently holding a Bronze award, which it is expected to renew in 2015.

Get in touch!

Awards can be made at Institutional and Departmental levels. Departmental commitment to Athena SWAN and its principles has many benefits for all staff. Schools from the University of Aberdeen are strongly encouraged to consider submitting for an Athena SWAN Award and to email athenaswan@abdn.ac.uk or call 01224 274006 in the first instance.

Applications for ECU’s Athena SWAN awards are accepted in April and November each year and guidance on submissions can be found here: Athena SWAN handbook

More Useful Links

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.

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 diversity@abdn.ac.uk 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

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 and those with an interest in LGBT issues.

LGBT Staff 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 LGBTQ staff. All discussions will be treated in confidence.

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

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, the volunteer contacts and their details are listed below. They would be delighted to hear from you.

Professor Bill Naphy: Divinity, History and Philosophy

Bill is originally from the States but has lived in the UK since 1989 and Aberdeen since 1996. His specialist area is Reformation history but he has interests in gender, the history of sexuality and medicine. He has been active involved in equality and diversity issues for over a decade and has written Born to be Gay: A History of Homosexuality which has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese and Serbo-Croat (the latter translation funded by the Norwegian government!) as well as general works on sex crimes, the plague/Black Death and a companion volume to a BBC series on the Reformation.

Tel: x3928, email w.g.naphy@abdn.ac.uk

Emily Nordmann: Psychology

I am originally from Northumberland and went to Edinburgh in 2004 to do my undergraduate degree in psychology. I came to Aberdeen in 2008 as a PhD student and RA in the School of Psychology and I now work as a Teaching Fellow. 

Tel: x3646, email: emily.nordmann@abdn.ac.uk

Dr David R. Smith, Lecturer, School of Education

I joined the University of Aberdeen’s School of Education in January 2013. I am a qualified secondary RMPS teacher and Director of the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education. I was delighted to see the University establish an LGBT staff network, and would be happy to talk with you about it. Give me a call, or if you prefer to chat in person - I am a coffee addict.     

Tel: x4589, email: davidsmith@abdn.ac.uk

Public Sector Equality Duty

The University of Aberdeen is committed to promoting equality, creating a culture of inclusivity and celebrating the diversity of its staff and student communities. On this page you can find our reports which detail our progress in achieving our equality ambitions.

Download our full report:

Equality Mainstreaming and Outcomes Report 2017


I am delighted to introduce the University of Aberdeen’s Mainstreaming and Equality Outcomes report which details how we are meeting our legal obligations in relation to equality and also how we plan to continue to strive to achieve excellent practice in equality and inclusion.

Embedding the principles of equality and celebrating the diversity of our campus are core priorities for the University of Aberdeen. We have demonstrated that this is the case by embedding equality and inclusivity within our Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020 and by clearly communicating this commitment to staff and students.

Our work on equality is heavily guided by engaging with staff and students on their experiences and learning from feedback, and by consulting external sources of expertise. As well as driving a cultural shift towards increased tolerance and respect, we have been proud to make a real difference to individuals through initiatives such as Project SEARCH, Athena SWAN, the development of a comprehensive and evolving Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Action Plan, successfully tacking the gender pay gap, and introducing an extensive training programme for staff and students in relation to equality.

The University’s senior management team were delighted to be involved in the development of this report; indeed, the University Court has endorsed it. I believe the report demonstrates the continued efforts and commitment of the University to equality and inclusivity. We very much look forward to progressing this work through the implementation of our Action Plan.

Professor Margaret Ross
Vice Principal for People Strategy


This report provides an update on (1) the progress made by the University of Aberdeen in meeting its legal requirement to mainstream equality into its functions and fulfil the requirements of the general duty as set out in the Equality Act 2010; and (2) the progress made by the University towards achieving its Equality Outcomes.

The University developed a Single Equality Scheme in 2013 and reported on progress in 2015. The following five equality outcomes were agreed through a process of consultation with the staff and student community:

  • The principles of Equality and Diversity will be a day-to-day consideration within all of the University’s activities, both strategically and operationally
  • Staff will have greater understanding of their responsibilities in Equality and Diversity and apply this in their practice to positively advance equality;
  • The University will be an inclusive community where staff and students are able to fulfil their full potential in their work or studies;
  • The diversity of the University community will be celebrated and recognised so that all staff and students feel respected and valued; and
  • The University will further gender equality and address the gender balance in STEMM subjects.

These outcomes have provided a clear focus for the University’s activities in relation to Equality and Diversity over the last 4 years.

Strategic Direction
The principles of Equality and Diversity are embedded within the University’s Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020. The University’s mission within the Strategic Plan includes the commitment to embed “a culture of equality and diversity in which all staff and students thrive”. The values included in the Strategic Plan commit the University to:

  • Sustainable partnerships with stakeholders - driving a culture of inclusion and accessibility
  • Respect for all within and beyond the University
  • An empowered and ambitious community in which all can thrive

The University has also agreed a specific vision for Equality and Diversity:

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.

One of the most significant changes since the publication of the report in 2015 has been the creation of the role of Vice Principal for People Strategy. This development reflects the importance of the ‘People’ pillar within the University’s Strategic Plan which includes the key goal “to foster a positive culture wherein our people are engaged, committed to our future, and champions of equality and diversity”. The role of Vice Principal for People Strategyencompasses the Equality and Diversity agenda. They chair the University’s Advisory Group on Equality and Diversity and are a champion for Equality and Diversity.

Structure of Report and Publication
The structure of this report has been set out to show clearly how the University is meeting the general duty within the Equality Act 2010. Therefore, there will be information on our progress and actions required in relation to:

  • eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
  • advancing equality of opportunity, considering the need to: remove or minimise disadvantage, meet the needs of people with protected characteristics, and encourage participation where it is low and;
  • fostering good relations between people from different groups;
  • diversity within the composition of boards.

The report also outlines the progress that the University has made towards meeting our Equality Outcomes since our review in 2015. Information which was provided in our reports of 2013 and 2015 will not be repeated in this report unless required.

An action plan can be found at Appendix 1and the actions are specifically linked to the items in this report. The action plan is ambitious, but achievable and continues our work to meet the Equality Outcomes. The employee information/data can be found in Appendix 2.

This report is fully available to staff, students, visitors and other interested groups or individuals. It will be published on the University’s Equality and Diversity webpage and will be publicised to staff and students through the University’s communication channels e.g. Staff E-zine, Message of the Day, open sessions, College newsletters.

Example of Mainstreaming Equality

The University of Aberdeen has developed a report outlining how it meets the legal requirement to mainstream equality into all of its functions. More information on the Examples of Mainstreaming Equality

Progress on Equality Outcomes

The University has agreed 4 Equality Outcomes, developed through a process of consultation and communication. The Outcomes will shape our equality activities over the next 2 years.  Read more about our progress in meeting our Outcomes

Equality outcomes Action Plan

The University has developed an action plan to continue to drive forward our work on delivering on our Equality Outcomes. Read more about the Action Plan

Equality Data

The University collects and analyses equality profile data on staff and students which we use to inform policy and decision-making. Find out more about our current statistics


The equality and diversity agenda has continued to be a prominent aspect of the University’s priorities since the last report in 2015. Evidence from staff surveys indicates that the level of awareness of equality initiatives has been increasing and the impact of the University’s commitment to the Athena SWAN Charter has been positive for all of the equality characteristics. Evidence from a range of sources clearly indicates that equality is increasingly mainstreamed into the core of the University’s functions and that the engagement and knowledge of staff and students in this area has developed significantly.

The University’s Equality Outcomes have shaped and guided activities in this area and align with the University’s Strategic Plan commitments on equality and diversity.

We have made progress regarding all of the protected characteristics and our action plan details how we will continue to do so. Examples of activities by characteristic:

Protected characteristic

Development since 2015


  • Successful Athena SWAN accreditations and established Athena SWAN teams
  • Aurora leadership Programme – 15 participants with follow-up
  • activities
  • Career Development Focus Groups to support women
  • Proactive Senior Women’s Network
  • Gender Pay Gap greatly reduced


  • Project SEARCH – 23 interns secured employment
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy launched
  • Body Positive initiative led by the Aberdeen University Students Association
  • Staff Disability Network Group revised remit and Charter
  • Mainstreaming of reasonable adjustments for students
  • University is developing a British Sign Language Plan


  • Staff LGBT Network now also includes Post Graduate students
  • Increasing rankings in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index
  • No Bystanders Pledge signed by University Principal and Vice Principal for People Strategy and rolled out to staff


  • Creation of Race Equality Network in progress
  • International Staff and Student welcome sessions and inductions
  • University Chaplaincy is now the Inter-Faith Centre
  • University Chaplains fully integrated into the governance structure of Equality and Diversity
  • Supporting young people into University through the SFC REACH Project
  • Widening opportunities and breaking down barriers through the ECU Attracting Diversity Project
Gender Reassignment
  • Transgender policy and training being developed and delivered
  • Review of buildings to incorporate gender neutral toilets where possible and always considered within new-build proposals
Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Maternity and paternity coaching available to staff
  • Maternity leave cover fund proposed
  • Increased nursery childcare provision
  • Breastfeeding rooms established and promoted

As well as engaging with specific groups, we have also ensured that our equality governance structures address intersectionality and are accessible and applicable to all staff and students. By increasing support to our community through Academic Line Managers and Personal Tutors and strengthening our data collection systems and processes, we have aimed to address the diverse needs of our community. Through our events and public engagement activities, we pursue a policy of celebrating the vibrancy and diversity of our campus.

We look forward to continuously improving our practice in equality and diversity though delivering on our action plan; and to striving for excellence so that all our staff, students and visitors can be sure of a welcoming, inclusive and tolerant University in which to work and study.

Appendix 1: Equality Outcomes Action Plan 2017 – 2019
Appendix 2: Staff and Student Profile Data 2015-2016

Previous Equality Mainstreaming and Outcomes Report

The Scheme demonstrates the University’s continued commitment to fully embedding Equality and Diversity principles across the whole University. An interim report on progress with the Scheme was published in April 2015.
The University was delighted to launch its Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Equality Scheme in April 2013.


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

Senior Female Network Group

The University has made a strategic commitment to developing and supporting our diverse population of staff throughout their careers. One of Professor Neva Haites’ roles as Vice Principal with responsibility for championing equality and diversity matters across the University is to ensure that as an institution, we are identifying and addressing the issues that are central to career development for female colleagues and particularly those in, or aspiring to, senior positions.

As a result of this commitment, a Senior Female Network Group was set up in 2012 to provide a regular opportunity for senior female colleagues to network and engage with Professor Haites and others in face-to-face dialogue about matters affecting them and their colleagues. 

This group usually meets two or three times a year, over a working lunch, and has, in the past, been addressed by both internal and external speakers.  As this is a small network group, one of the responsibilities of those attending is to disseminate information discussed at the Network Group by speaking with colleagues at all levels and across all disciplines to help identify key issues and identify how to address them.

Further information may be obtained from Shirley McIntosh


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.

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 Nykohla Strong (n.strong@abdn.ac.uk).



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

    To apply:
    Please fill in and return the Aurora Application Form to staffdevelopment@abdn.ac.uk by 5pm Wednesday 21st October 2015.   
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

t: 01224 272965
f: 01224 27 2977

e: welfare@abdn.ac.uk

  • 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.

Equality and Diversity

Welcome to the Equality and Diversity pages where you can find out about the University’s continued commitment to fully embedding Equality and Diversity principles across the whole University.

Equality and Diversity

Welcome to the Equality and Diversity pages where you can find out about the University’s continued commitment to fully embedding Equality and Diversity principles across the whole University.

Equality and Diversity

Welcome to the Equality and Diversity pages where you can find out about the University’s continued commitment to fully embedding Equality and Diversity principles across the whole University.