Inclusive Aston

Diversity and inclusion strategy

The development of Aston's diversity and inclusion strategy ensures that our commitment to embracing diversity, and creating a truly inclusive environment is communicated effectively to all stakeholders and beneficiaries.

Bullying and Harassment

Harassment, bullying and victimisation have a detrimental effect on learning and working environments and will not be tolerated. Our Bullying and Harassment Policy outlines how we support our community

If the Inclusive Aston webpage has been helpful to you with respect to funding applications, accreditation or any other activity, please get in touch.


At Aston we appreciate that many of our staff and students have caring responsibilities. We also recognise that the circumstances and demands will vary for each individual carer. We are committed to providing appropriate support in each individual case.


We are committed to promoting equality and valuing diversity amongst our staff and students. We encourage applications from people with disabilities and additional needs. We are proud to be recognised by the government’s Disability Confident Scheme.


We are committed to promoting an environment that is welcoming to people of all backgrounds, beliefs and those with no belief.


At Aston, whilst we recognise that there are fewer women than men in senior positions, we strive for equality at all levels of the University. Our engagement with Advance HE's Athena SWAN gender equality charter provides a valuable framework for the identification of effective actions to address this, and we are working to provide application support across the whole of the gender spectrum.


We will review our recruitment and selection practices to ensure that the process is fair, transparent and without bias. We have now rolled out anonymous shortlisting for all professional roles, and are piloting inclusive recruitment practices for academic roles.

LGBT+ Charter

Our LGBT+ Charter outlines our commitment to, and progress towards, LGBT+ inclusion.

LGBT+ Charter

Aston recognises positive contributions in respect of LGBT+ network/group activity as evidence of good citizenship.Aston recognises positive contributions in respect of LGBT network group activity as evidence of good citizenship.Citizenship
Aston will visually signal its commitment to the LGBT+ communityAston has produced rainbow lanyards to signal its support of the gay community.Events and Awareness
Aston will develop and communicate policies relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.Aston will develop and communicate a transitioning policy.
Aston provides an option for recognising non-binary identities on workplace systems.
Monitoring, compliance, policy
Aston ensures that mechanisms are in place for staff to report LGBT+ related issues.

The University will also ensure that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or trans identity is not tolerated and that relevant policies are in place to ensure compliance.

The harassment and bullying policy has been updated to specifically reference examples of harassment relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Family friendly policies, such as dependant care, compassionate leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave and shared parental leave have been reviewed and modified to ensure that language is gender neutral and that same sex couples are not inadvertently marginalised.

The University commits to regularly review these policies to ensure they remain fit for purpose and in line with good practice.

Monitoring, compliance, policy
Aston has LGBT+ Networks open to all staff and will provide information about LGBT+ Events.

Aston has an LGBT+ network group for LGBT+ colleagues and commits to promote this as being open to all employees

Aston will consider agreeing defined yearly objectives, as appropriate and in the best interests of the group's members

Aston provides information about LGBT+ events.

Networks and support
Aston has an LGBT+ working group committed to looking at continuous organisational development and improvement for LGBT+ colleagues.

Aston’s LGBT+ working group were responsible for setting up the Aston LGBT+ Charter

The working group commits to meet regularly throughout the year to review actions against the charter and to discuss matters arising where further improvements can be made.

The LGBT+ working group, will also work on continuously improving internal policies and practices which impact upon employee welfare.

Networks and support
Aston provides new starters with information on Inclusive Aston, including information on the LGBT+ employee networks.

Information about the staff networks including the LGBT+ network is included in the Management Essentials Handbook

The New Starters webpage will include information to new starters on groups and networks, including the LGBT+ network and working group

Recruitment and Induction
Aston enhances contributions to the university by employing a diverse workforce, recognising the benefit of engaging staff who identify as LGBT+, and considering potential barriers to recruitment.

Aston commits to review its recruitment practices periodically and to ensure that any known barriers to attracting staff from the LGBT+ community are removed.

Aston will include a policy statement on the recruitment landing page about valuing diversity, and a link to Inclusive Aston which explicitly references its support of LGBT+ people.

Aston will review its recruitment and selection practices, to ensure that the process is fair, transparent and without bias. This includes considering blind shortlisting (i.e. removing personal/equality related information) when shortlisting, where appropriate to do so.

Aston will ensure that potential applicants have relevant information about the LGBT+ employee network group or LGBT+ inclusion activities, to encourage LGBT+ applicants to apply.

Recruitment and Induction
Aston supports LGBT+ employees and allies to become visible role models at all levels of the organisation.

Aston will promote the importance of allies

Aston commits to actively speak out against discrimination towards LGBT+ people

Aston will seek to share personal stories from LGBT+ people, as appropriate.

Role Models and Allies
Aston provides career development opportunities to all employees and ensures these are communicated without disadvantaging specific groups, including those who identify as LGBT+.Aston encourages all managers to support career development and to have opportunities with all staff, regardless of personal characteristics, via its My Development Conversation process.Staff Training and Development
Aston will endeavour to educate or inform the wider organisation and community about sexual orientation, gender identity and trans issues.

Aston will support LGBT+ people by ensuring awareness and EDI training is available, including challenging inappropriate behaviour, negative language and assumptions, unconscious bias, and discrimination and the steps to eliminate bias.

Aston will support board level and senior management to understand issues that affect LGBT+ people. Aston senior leaders send an explicit message on their commitment to LGBT inclusion.



LGBT+ staff network

The Aston University LGBT+ Staff Network leads on positive development of LGBT+inclusion, through effective representation, support, and leadership.

Get Involved

If you want to find out more or get involved, simply email one of the contacts below or to join the mailing list.

If you would be interested in joining the committee or would like more information about what that would involve, please get in touch with the Chair (contact details below).

Rainbow Lanyards

Rainbow lanyards are now available from both the HR and the IT Helpdesk. In line with this we have compiled some information about what the lanyards represent, including further information about the LGBT+ community such as key terminology. We hope this helps although if you have any further questions or want to know more, please do get in touch with us.


Useful information


General Enquiries

Membership OfficerRob Stevens

Network ChairDanny Burrell

Socials Officer: Currently Vacant

Communications Officer: Phillippa Treharne Jones

Student LGBT+ Society

Learn more about our Student LGBT + Society and how you can get involved.


We are committed to improving the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students at Aston. We are engaging with Advance HE's race equality charter to determine the best interventions to effect change.

Decolonising the curriculum at Aston University

We believe that racial equality at institutional level can only be achieved by assimilating the histories, perspectives, standpoints and experiences of our students, staff and the communities we serve. For that reason we have established a Decolonising the Curriculum Working Group at the University level which leads the process of revising the principles of curriculum design, content and delivery, toward a decolonised teaching and learning system which we aim to achieve over the next three years.

Our approach is to cultivate and develop a tradition of acceptance of all through the embedding of racial equality in our teaching, research and institutional processes and outcomes. Our students and staff come from diverse ethnic and cultural traditions and greatly contribute to making Aston an inclusive learning institution.

In doing so, the working group has been re imaging the curriculum design that inclusively reflects the voices, experiences, and histories of all of us. The process has been creating opportunities and resources for an open and authentic dialogue among the community members of the university on the diverse issues including colonialism, Eurocentric philosophies and narratives and their impacts on pedagogy, teaching practices and HE. The dialogical process has allowed the Aston community to get involved in making the intercultural, epistemic and practical changes we expect will lead to an embracing and supportive culture of acceptance, recognition and inclusion of different traditions and sources of knowledge.

We anticipate that the process will take up to three years for implementation in the first instance but then will continue as an embedded feature of Aston’s continual monitoring and enhancement of modules. Successful delivery depends on engagement with all stakeholders as well as Executive and Associate Deans.

StakeholderActivity Status/target
Decolonising the Curriculum Working Group.

Staff and students are welcome to join this group. Please email us for information.
Oversee the progress of the project through monthly meetings including review and reflection on impact.Ongoing
 Collate case studies and impact statements that can be used to support wider engagement.Will continue throughout the project
 Liaise with Deans and Associate Deans within the Colleges to raise awareness of the project.Attend College meetings to present the project by end 2021
 Create a repository of discipline specific guidance for staff about how to approach decolonisation in their context.Completion by end 2021
 Deliver regular workshops that will serve as safe spaces for staff to discuss issues of race and colonialism.First workshops will be delivered during summer 2021 and will run regularly throughout the project. Timing, regularity, and format will be reviewed as the work progresses.
 Work with the Education Team to embed decolonisation formally into the continual monitoring and enhancement of modules.Specific section and guidance to be added to continual monitoring and enhancement forms from 2022.
 Support the creation of online staff development materials.Podcasts describing what decolonising the curriculum means for the student and staff perspectives to be published by August 2021.

Further support materials will be developed throughout the project.
Library ServicesSupport inclusive reading lists by continuing to develop the Diversifying the Reading List project. Students and staff can recommend resources via the website or by emailing Sarah Akhtaruzzaman or Richard HopkinsThe Decolonize the Reading List libguide is available for students and staff and will be continually developed
Aston Students' Union

Provide a forum for students to share their experiences racism and colonialism.

Ensure that the student perspective is central to the project.

Raise awareness of the project.

Why is my Curriculum White? survey delivered in 2021 with results fed back to the Decolonising the Curriculum Group.

Awareness raising about the project and Black British History on the SU website.

Panel discussions and events delivered for Black History Month 2020.
University Learning & Teaching CommitteeEmbed decolonising the curriculum into the continual monitoring and enhancement of modules

Approve addition to the continual monitoring and enhancement process in 2022.

Review engagement from staff and implement required changes by 2023.

College Learning & Teaching CommitteesEmbed decolonising the curriculum into the continual monitoring and enhancement of modules

Raise awareness of the addition of decolonising the curriculum to the continual monitoring and enhancement process in 2022.

Review engagement from staff and support implementation of required changes by 2023.

University Equality, Diversity & Inclusion CommitteeEnsure that relevant learnings form the Decolonising the Curriculum project are shared and embedded within non-academic areas of activity


The EDI Committee links the Decolonising the Curriculum Project with other relevant working groups including:

  • Race Equality Charter
  • Support for Black Students & Staff
  • Pay Gap & Fair Recruitment
  • BAME Staff Network
  • Athena SWAN

The impact of the project on staff will be monitored through the annual Staff Equality Report and staff surveys.

 Support the delivery of relevant campaigns and initiatives

Campaigns delivered so far:

  • Black History Month 2020
  • Aston Black Excellence 2020
  • BSS EDI Week

These will run annually, and other campaigns will be added in response to feedback from student sand staff on an ongoing basis.

Aston Voices GroupCreate educational materials that promote an understanding of the lived experience of racism and prejudice

Staff and students will be invited to discussion groups in 2021. These will provide a safe space for conversations around lived experiences of racism.

These discussions will inform, anonymously and respectfully, the creation of educational resources in the form of stories, podcasts, or other formats as appropriate.

Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Diversity & InclusionEnsure that the Decolonising the Curriculum project directly informs initiatives that address our attainment gaps

Specific actions to address attainment gaps to be incorporated into the 2021 Student Equality report in consultation with University Learning & Teaching Committee.

The impact of these interventions will be monitored annually through the annual Student Equality Report.

Actions will be reviewed annually considering data, impact, and feedback.

Reporting and policies

We aim to support the wellbeing of all students and staff through our policies, procedures and support services. It is important to us that staff and students feel safe and able to communicate any concerns, and are easily able to find appropriate support and guidance when needed.


At Aston University we want to showcase our staff and students and celebrate equality and diversity across the organisation. We run digital campaigns for Black History Month and International Women’s Day. We are keen to hear from students and staff about ideas for new campaigns, and from those who are interested in getting involved.

Please email our diversity team, we would love to hear from you.