Our mission

Equality, diversity and inclusivity is incredibly valued within the College of Health and Life Sciences. Much like our multidisciplinary teaching and research, we believe that the diversity of our staff and student community is one of our key strengths. Diversity fuels innovative work and creativity, something that is of paramount importance in the fields of life sciences and healthcare, and as a College, we are committed to implementing more efficient, informed, and focused change to ensure equality for all.

Dr Olivia Hunt, who is also a member of the College Senior Management Team, leads our College Committee for Equality and Diversity. The committee meets multiple times a year, and is in place to ensure:

  • We replicate, reflect and contribute to the University wide mission and culture of equality, diversity, and inclusion.
  • We advocate and support the principles of equality for all students and staff at all stages of their career.
  • We tackle the under-representation of women in science by changing cultures and attitudes through the Athena SWAN framework.
  • Via business, partnerships and engagement, we promote good practice and a culture of equality in higher education

"Health and Life Sciences is diverse community, where staff and students all contribute to its success. We are working to ensure that an inclusive approach is embedded in all of our activities, policies, and decisions. We work to share good practice while challenging accepted norms. Key to this is our commitment to implementing change to progress equality of experience and allow all of students and staff to thrive.”

Dr Olivia Hunt, Athena Swan Lead

College of Health and Life Sciences


Athena Swan


The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research. Established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment. In May 2015, the Athena Swan Charter was expanded and now encompasses the development and progression of ALL students and staff - men and women, academic, professional and support - and in all disciplines not just STEMM disciplines.

Aston University signed up to the charter in 2009, since then the College of Health and Life Sciences has been awarded the Bronze Award twice, in 2014 and 2017. The University overall was awarded Silver in 2018. Find out more about Athena Swan at Aston University, or for details on the College return, please contact the College Athena Swan lead Dr Olivia Hunt.

Inclusive Aston

As a University, our vision is to create an inclusive environment in which individuals can operate at all levels regardless of their personal circumstances. Our success as an institution depends on the diversity of our staff and students, and we value the contribution that every individual makes.

Mental Wellbeing

We are committed to the wellbeing of both our students and staff and are focussed on ensuring that proper mechanisms are in place to offer the support and guidance to people when they need it. Aston University has a team of Mental Health First Aiders, including a number based within Health and Life Sciences. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course that equips staff with the necessary skills to spot early signs of mental ill health and how to guide people to the most appropriate support.

All employees of Aston University have access (via the Aston staff portal) to PAM Assist, an Employee Assistance Programme that offers free confidential advice and support across a range of issues both personal and work related, including: managing money, family issues, moving home, retirement, work issues, and illness.

We ensure our staff are provided with relevant guidelines and tools to support them in their contact with students who are experiencing mental health difficulties. We also have a variety of direct support options for students including

Technician Commitment

The Technician Commitment is a sector-wide initiative led by the Science Council, supported by the Gatsby Foundation to help address key challenges facing technical staff.

Target areas of the Technician Commitment include:

  • Visibility
  • Recognition
  • Career development
  • Sustainability