Diversity Initiatives

Diversity Initiatives

Diversity Awards

Athena Swan

Mathematics and ISG advance gender equality through Athena SWAN Bronze AwardThe Athena Swan Charter is a framework supporting and transforming gender equality within higher education (HE) and research. Gender equality sits at the core of the University of Aberdeen community. We are committed to ensuring there is a diverse, inclusive and empowering work and study environment by addressing gender-based barriers for all staff and students. We are proud to have our ongoing commitment to gender equality demonstrated with Athena Swan accreditation in all Schools. We have ambitious yet achievable plans in all areas of the University, to ensure we continue to advance gender equality.

To find out more information about Gender Equality initiatives and Athena Swan at the University of Aberdeen please visit our Gender Equality section.


Aurora is higher education's most renowned leadership development initiative for women. Run as a collaboration between Advance HE in conjunction with higher education institutions and advocates, it addresses the under-representation of women in leadership positions.  Aurora is a leadership ignition journey, inspiring women to aspire and achieve leadership positions within higher education. 

Launched in 2013, Aurora has grown year on year and is now a community of over 8,300 Aurorans. Led by a team of leadership experts and in conjunction with a mentoring process, participants will explore four key areas associated with leadership success: Identity, Impact & Voice; Core Leadership; Politics & Influence and Adaptive Leadership Skills.


Aurora is for women, up to senior lecturer level or the professional services equivalent, working in a university, college or related organisation who would like to develop and explore issues relating to leadership roles and responsibilities. Participants should have the endorsement of their institution (through the line manager) and be committed to developing and enhancing their career. Attendees will be expected to:

  • attend the introduction webinar which will introduce the aims and objectives of Aurora along with an inspirational guest speaker
  • attend each of the four development days, and the two action learning set days
  • undertake self-directed learning throughout Aurora, aligned with development interests
  • commit to working with a mentor who is provided by their Institution (University Mentor Scheme
  • be prepared to access leadership opportunities and champion for change.
  • Volunteer to Mentor supporting future Aurorans at the University of Aberdeen  


All of the workshops and Action Learning Sets will be delivered online with the exception of the face to face event - please see below. Colleagues will be expected to book on the Scotland cohort dates (other cohorts by exception). 


Your Future in HE The Aurora 2024-25 offering includes the popular in-person Your Future in HE development day. Therefore it is crucial that Aurorans commit to their cohort's date, from their Instituions, as it is non-transferrable. Venues will be confirmed in due course. Return travel will be funded through your Directorate or School in line with the Institution's relevant policies and procedures and line manager authorisation if accommodation is required where travel timetables would disrupt being able to fully attend the event. 


  • Introduction Webinar (½ Day) - Advance HE Host Online
  • Identity, Impact and Voice - Advance HE Host Online
  • Core Leadership -  Advance HE Host Online
  • Action Learning Set 1 - Advance HE Host Online
  • Politics and Influence - Advance HE Host Online
  • Adaptive Leadership Skills - Advance HE Host Online
  • Action Learning Set 2 (Delegates self-facilitate) - Groups arrange amongst themselves
  • Your Future in HE Event - Face-to-Face
  • Aurora 2024/25 Workbook - Digital document
  • Aurora 2024/25 Mentoring Handbook - Digital document
  • Mentoring - Institution provides or Individuals self-organise
  • 9 hours Live Aurora Community Network and Exchange Sessions -   Advance HE Host Online
  • Lifetime Access to Aurora Alumnae Community  - Advance HE Host Online
  • Lifetime Access to slides decks, poll results and programme materials - Aurora's Microsoft Shared Drive/AdvanceHE platform 


Full list of dates and chorts 


Please submit the completed Application Form to your Line manager for consideration. Once this has been approved by your line manager you can book your place directly through the link below. You are encouraged to register for the Scotland co-hort but can book on others cohorts by exception.  However please be aware that the face to face event must be attended in the geographical region of your chosen cohort so this may have budgetary implications for travel and accommodation. One free transfer can be made during the programme to another cohort for one of the online sessions if you aren't able to make your cohort date. Please contact Clare Trembleau to arrange. 


The price for Aurora for 2024/25 will be £1045.00 for early bird registrations until 31st July 2024 and from 1st August 2024 the price will be £1100.00 both include the face-to-face event (not including travel please see below for more information). 


Please kindly note, due to Schools and Departments funding their own staff, booking is not done directly through our Aurora Champion, as you may see advertised through the Aurora materials. It is the delegates responsibility to book their own place once their application has been approved by the line manager. If you don't already have an account with AdvanceHE you will have the opportunity to create one when you click on the booking links below for your chosen cohort.  

** For all cohorts you will need a PO from your Department/School so please ensure you have this available when booking your place on the link below**.


Booking link for Scotland


South of England

Republic of Ireland and Northern England

Wales and Southwest of England

The Midlands

North of England

UK and Repubilic of Ireland


Please contact Clare Trembleau who will assist with all advice and support for the Aurora Programme


We would actively encourage all Aurora participants to join our Women's Development Network to connect with like-minded colleagues, meet Aurora alumni and come along to the events organised throughout the year. You can sign up to the mailing list here to join the Teams page and receive calendar invites to all the events. 

For any further information please contact Clare Trembleau

Disability Confident

The University of Aberdeen is committed to attracting, growing and engaging with talented people from diverse backgrounds.

The University of Aberdeen is a certified Disability Confident Employer. Disability Confident is a government scheme designed to encourage those employers who have agreed to take a set of actions around the recruitment, retention and career development of disabled people and those with health conditions.

Being Disability Confident is a unique opportunity to lead the way in our community.

Race Equality Charter

The Advance HE Race Equality Charter provides a rigorous framework for analysing our progress and gaps on race equality and for setting progressive actions and targets. The University signed up in 2019, committing us to the principles of the Charter and we are currently working on a Bronze submission. Find out more information on our Race Equality webpage.


Stonewall Silver Employer 2022We participate in Britain’s good practice employers’ forum on sexual orientation, run by Stonewall, the charity that works for equality for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and the trans community.

We are proud members of the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme, reinforcing:

  • our commitment to improving the workplace culture for lesbian, gay and bisexual employees
  • our recognition that people perform better when they can be themselves
Visit the Stonewall website

Inclusion Calendar

The Inclusion 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.

January 2024
  • 1st of January – New Years Day
  • 4th of January – World Braille Day
  • January 7th – Orthodox Christmas
  • 13th of January – Maghi (Sikh)
  • 15th of January – Martin Luther King Jnr Day
  • 18th of January to 4th of February – Celtic Connections
  • 21st January – World Religion Day
  • 25th of January – Burns Night. Mahayana New Year (Budhist)
  • 27th of January – Holocaust Memorial Day

Aberdeen City school term and holiday dates

Aberdeenshire school holiday and term dates

February 2024

February is LGBTQ+ History Month

  • 1st of February – World Hijab Day & Time to Talk Day
  • 1st – 7th of February – World Interfaith Harmony Week
  • 6th of February – International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
  • 4th of February – World Cancer Day
  • 7th of February – Lailat al Miraj (Islamic)
  • 10th of February – Chinese New Year
  • 11th of February – International Day for Women and Girls in Science
  • 14th of February – 30th of March – Great Lent (Orthodox Christian)
  • 15th of February – Nirvana (Buddhist)
  • 19th – 25th of February - Seachdain na Gàidhlig 
  • 21st of February – Shrove Tuesday (Christian)
  • 21st of February – International Mother Language Day
  • 22nd of February – Ash Wednesday (Christian)
  • 24th of February – Maja Puja Day (Buddhist)

Aberdeen City school term and holiday dates

Aberdeenshire school holiday and term dates

March 2024

March is Women’s History Month

  • 1st of March – Zero Discrimination Day & Self-Injury Awareness Day
  • 3rd of March – World Hearing Day
  • 8th of March – International Women’s Day
  • 9th of March – University Mental Health Day
  • 10th of March – Ramadan begins (Islamic)
  • 14th of March – Nanakshahi Sikh New Year
  • 16th of March – Young Carer’s Action Day
  • 21st of March – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination & National Single Parents Day
  • 23rd of March – Purim (Jewish)
  • 24th of March – Good Friday (Christian)
  • 25th of March – Holi (Hinduism) Hola Molhalla (Sikh). International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • 29th of March – Good Friday (Christian)

All Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the evening before

Aberdeen City school term and holiday dates

Aberdeenshire school holiday and term dates

April 2024

April is Stress Awareness Month

  • 1st of April – Easter Monday
  • 2nd of April – World Autism Day
  • 5th of April – Laylat al-Qadr (Islamic)
  • 8th of April – International Romani Day
  • 9th of April – Gudi Padwa (Hindu) & Eid al-Fitr (Islamic)
  • 13th of April – Vaisakhi (Sikh)
  • 13th - 15th of April - Thai New Year/Songkran (Buddhist)
  • 14th of April - Puthandu Tamil New Year & Bengali New Year
  • 22nd of April – Stephen Lawrence Day
  • 22nd - 30th of April - Passover/Pesach (Jewish)
  • 26th of April – Lesbian Visibility Day

Aberdeen City school term and holiday dates

Aberdeenshire school holiday and term dates

May 2024

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

  • 2nd of May - Twelfth Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)
  • 5th of May – Holy Pascha (Orthodox Christian)
  • 6th - 12th of May – Deaf Awareness Week
  • 8th of May – World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day
  • 15th of May – International Day of Families
  • 16th of May – Global Accessibility Awareness Day
  • 17th of May - International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia
  • 19th of May – Pentecost (Christian)
  • 21st of May - World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
  • 23rd of May – Wesak/Vesak (Buddhist)
  • 24th of May – Grampian Pride (TBC)
  • 25th of May – George Floyd Anniversary
  • 30th of May – World MS Day

Aberdeen City school term and holiday dates

Aberdeenshire school holiday and term dates

June 2024

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month

  • 1st of June – Global Day of Parents
  • 6th to 12th of June – National Carer’s Week (TBC)
  • 10th to 16th of June – Men’s Mental Health Week
  • 11th of June to 13th of June - Shavuot (Jewish)
  • 13th of June – Ascension of the Lord (Orthodox Christian)
  • 15th of June - Waqf al Arafa (Islamic)
  • 16th of June – Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev (Sikh) and Eid-al-Adha (Islam)
  • 16th to 22nd of June – Refugee Week
  • 18th of June – Autistic Pride Day
  • 21st of June – World Humanist Day
  • 22nd of June – Windrush Day
  • 23rd of June – International Women in Engineering Day

All Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the evening before

Aberdeen City school term and holiday dates

Aberdeenshire school holiday and term dates

July 2024
  • 5th of July - Birthday of Guru Hargobind (Sikh)
  • 7th or 8th of July (tbc) - Al–Hijra/Muharram, New Year (Islamic)
  • 14th of July - International Non-Binary People’s Day
  • 16th of July - Ashura (Islamic)
  • 18th of July - Nelson Mandela International Day
  • 18th July-17th August - South Asian Heritage Month
  • 21st of July - Asalha Puja or Dharma Day (Buddhist)
  • 23rd of July -  Seventeenth Day of Tummuz (Jewish)
  • 23rd of July - Birthday of Emperor Haile Selassie (Rastafari)

All Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the evening before

Aberdeen City school term and holiday dates

Aberdeenshire school holiday and term dates

August 2024

August is Health and Safety Month

  • 1st - 7th of August - World Breastfeeding Week 
  • 6th of August - Feast of Transfiguration of our Lord (Christian) & Transfiguration of the Lord (Orthodox Christian)
  • 12th of August - Tish’a B’av (Jewish)
  • 15th of August - Dormition of the Theotokos (Orthodox Christian)
  • 19th of August - Raksha Bandhan (Hindu)
  • 22nd of August - International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief
  • 23rd of August - International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition
  • 26th of August - Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu)
  • 30th of August - Grief Awareness Day

Aberdeen City school term and holiday dates

Aberdeenshire school holiday and term dates

September 2024
  • 5th of September - International Day of Charity
  • 10th of September - World Suicide Prevention Day
  • 18th of September - International Equal Pay Day
  • 21st of September - International Day of Peace & World Alzheimer’s Day
  • 23rd of September – International Day of Sign Languages & Bi Visibility Day
  • 26th of September - European Day of Languages

Aberdeen City school term and holiday dates

Aberdeenshire school holiday and term dates

October 2024

October is Black History Month

  • 2nd - 4th of October - Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)
  • 7th - 13th of October - Dyslexia Awareness Week
  • 9th - 15th of October - Baby Loss Awareness Week
  • 10th of October - World Mental Health Day
  • 11th of October - National Coming Out Day
  • 11th - 12th of October - Yom Kippur (Jewish)
  • 16th of October - Sharad Purnima (Hindu)
  • 16th - 23rd of October - Sukkot (Jewish)
  • 18th of October - World Menopause Day
  • 20th - 26th of October - Invisible Disabilities Week
  • 22nd of October - International Stammering Awareness Day
  • 26th of October - Intersex Awareness Day
  • 27th of October - National Mentoring Day
  • TBC - Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail/The Royal National Mod in Oban

All Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the evening before

Aberdeen City school term and holiday dates

Aberdeenshire school holiday and term dates

November 2024

November is Islamophobia Awareness Month & Disability History Month (22nd of November - 22nd of December)

  • 1st of November - Diwali (Hindu, Jain, Sikh)
  • 10th of November - Remembrance Sunday
  • 14th of November - World Diabetes Day
  • 13th - 19th of November - Transgender Awareness Week 
  • 19th of November - International Men's Day
  • 20th of November - Transgender Day of Remembrance
  • 25th of November - International Day for Elimination of Violence Towards Women
  • 29th of November - International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
  • TBC - Inter Faith Week

Aberdeen City school term and holiday dates

Aberdeenshire school holiday and term dates

December 2024
  • 1st of December - World Aids Day
  • 2nd of December - International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
  • 3rd of December - International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • 10th of December - Human Rights Day
  • 18th of December – International Migrants Day
  • 25th of December - Christmas Day (Christian)
  • 25th of December - 2nd of January - Hanukkah (Jewish)
  • 31st of December – Hogmanay

All Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the evening before

Aberdeen City school term and holiday dates

Aberdeenshire school holiday and term dates