Code of Conduct (CoC)
A Code of Conduct should:
- Be easy to read (You shouldn't need a law degree to understand it.)
- Be easy to find
- Explain how to report problematic or unethical behavior
- Explain the consequences of violating Code of Conduct provisions
- Include timelines/deadlines for enforcement action that will be taken
Additional ways to support and implement your Code of Conduct:
- Include FAQs
- Encourage positive behavior (don't just discourage negative behavior)
- Have a "quick" version and a "less quick" version (e.g. http://jsconf.com/codeofconduct.html)
Make sure that everyone involved in your conference/event is aware that the CoC applies to them: that not only includes participants, but also speakers, sponsors, committee members etc.
🍎Tick box at registration that confirms that the participant has read it
- A pop-up with a short version may also be a good idea.
- Provide a link to the full ("less quick") version of the Code of Conduct, hosted on its own page.
🍎Include a copy of the CoC in the sponsor packet 🍎Mention that the CoC applies to the speakers in the speaker guidelines 🍎Ensure that CoC is easily accessible on the conference website
- Implement additional web-based highlights of the CoC via loading pages, pop-ups, screen savers, etc.
🍎Include a short version on the printed schedule as a reminder 🍎Mention it in the welcome talk and at the start of every day, including who to contact if there is a problem/violation
- If you send out daily event e-mails, include an item on "Seeing or experiencing something that makes you uncomfortable"
- "Remember that you can always speak to one of our ombudspersons about any matter of concern, no matter how small."
- Include short blurbs about the CoC during breaks (e.g. during slide breaks), on websites, etc.
- Consider a visual "workflow" of CoC violation:
- Report -> Action -> Resolution
- Make it clear what the consequences or resolutions of a violation are
- Ensure confidentiality of the person who is reporting the violation (and the alleged violator)
- Ensure that the data is stored securely with limited access
- Make sure that people are aware of reporting mechanisms:
- Face to face with staff (Who is the dedicated ombudsperson or -persons?)
- Dedicated email, e.g. to email@example.com
- Fill out an online form, e.g. http://www.oreilly.com/conferences/report-code-of-conduct.html
- Consider how a report against an authority figure would be submitted — e.g. if the ombudsperson is the subject of a CoC violation report, who is the report submitted to? (A good reason to have more than one ombudsperson.)
- Be clear on how long it will take to resolve the situation or take an action on the violation
- Discuss in advance with the organizing committee what the specific process will be for recording and addressing a CoC violation
- When recording a CoC violation, ensure that the data are stored securely and that everyone's identities are protected. Access to the data should be limited.
- When possible, have a third party review the violation report (Another good way to handle the challenge of potential reports against authority figures.)
- Ensure the person who made the CoC violation report is aware of how it is being handled and when it has been resolved.
Why You Need a Code of Conduct
- Why to have a CoC and how to make one http://incisive.nu/2014/codes-of-conduct/
- Why conferences need a code of conduct https://jacobian.org/writing/codes-of-conduct/
- You literally cannot pay me to speak without a Code of Conduct http://rachelnabors.com/2015/09/01/code-of-conduct/
- Human Decency Is Not Enough: Why Cons Need Better Anti-Harassment Policies https://www.wired.com/2013/07/convention-harassment-comic-con/
- Should my tech conference community have a code of conduct and recommended resources http://wunder.schoenaberselten.com/2016/02/17/should-my-tech-conference-community-have-a-code-of-conduct-recommended-resources/
Crafting a Code of Conduct
- A CoC builder http://codeofconduct.io
- Conference Code of Conduct http://confcodeofconduct.com/
- Codes of Conduct 101 + FAQ https://www.ashedryden.com/blog/codes-of-conduct-101-faq
- How to design a code of conduct for your community https://adainitiative.org/2014/02/18/howto-design-a-code-of-conduct-for-your-community/
- How Tech Codes of Conduct Fail https://medium.com/@gusseting/tech-codes-of-conduct-e4e05c6f539f
Managing a Code of Conduct
- NYC PyLadies Meetup: Managing our Code of Conduct https://reshamas.github.io/managing-our-code-of-conduct/
- Beyond Guidelines: Setting the stage for good behavior in your community http://cmxhub.com/article/beyond-guidelines-setting-the-stage-for-good-behavior-in-your-community/
- Geek Feminism Wiki: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Conference_anti-harassment/Responding_to_reports