Code of Conduct

Girls to the Moon is an opportunity for girls to come together, learn, and share. We believe an explicit code of conduct is a great way to help us stay aligned with this goal.

We value the participation of each member of our community and expect all attendees to show respect and courtesy to others throughout all Girls to the Moon events.

To make clear what is expected, all delegates/attendees, speakers, exhibitors, organizers and volunteers at any Girls to the Moon event are required to conform to the following Code of Conduct.

The Short Version

Girls to the Moon is dedicated to providing a bullying-free, harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.

All communication should be appropriate for a diverse audience including people of many different backgrounds.

Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other attendees. Remember that harassment and sexist, racist, or exclusionary jokes are not appropriate for Girls to the Moon.

Attendees violating these rules may be asked to leave the conference without a refund at the sole discretion of the conference organizers.

Thank you for helping make this a welcoming, friendly event for all.

The Longer Version

What do we mean when we say bullying and harassment? This includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Sponsors are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, sponsors should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material. Staff, including volunteers, should not use sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualized environment.

Be careful with the words that you choose. Remember that sexist, racist, and other exclusionary jokes can be offensive to those around you. Excessive swearing and offensive jokes are not appropriate for Girls to the Moon.

If a participant engages in behavior that violates this code of conduct, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

Contact Information

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a Girls to the Moon staffer or volunteer.

If the matter is especially urgent, please contact any of these individuals:

Knight Stivender, Girls to the Moon Founder and CEO

Courtenay Rogers, Girls to the Moon Founder and COO

Courtney Seiter, Girls to the Moon Founder and CMO

Girls to the Moon will be happy to provide escorts or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.

Procedure for Handling Harassment

Attendee Procedure for Incident Handling

  1. Keep in mind that all Girls to the Moon staff will be wearing a T-shirt with the words “Girls to the Moon” on it. All of our staff are informed of the code of conduct policy and guide for handling harassment at the conference.
  2. Report the harassment incident to a conference staff member. All reports are confidential.

When reporting the event to staff, some important information we might ask about consists of:

  • Identifying information (name/company) of the participant doing the harassing
  • The behavior that was in violation
  • The approximate time of the behavior (if different than the time the report was made)
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in the incident

Girls to the Moon staff are well-informed on how to deal with the incident.

Girls to the Moon Staff Procedure for Incident Handling

Be sure to have a good understanding of our Code of Conduct policy above. Also have a good understanding of what is expected from an attendee that wants to report a harassment incident, also above.

Try to get as much of the incident in written form by the reporter. If you cannot, transcribe it yourself as it was told to you. The important information to gather includes the following:

  • Identifying information (name/company) of the participant doing the harassing
  • The behavior that was in violation
  • The approximate time of the behavior (if different than the time the report was made)
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in the incident

Prepare an initial response to the incident. This initial response is very important and will set the tone for Girls to the Moon. Depending on the severity/details of the incident, please follow these guidelines:

  • Take them seriously. Strive for a bias toward empathy. Be supportive, not skeptical.
  • If there is any general threat to attendees or the safety of anyone, including conference staff, is in doubt, summon security or police.
  • Offer the victim a private place to sit.
  • Ask “Is there a friend or trusted person who you would like to be with you?” (If so, arrange for someone to fetch this person.)
  • Ask them “How can I help?”
  • Provide them with your list of emergency contacts if they need help later.
  • If everyone is presently physically safe, involve law enforcement or security only at a victim’s request.

There are also some guidelines as to what not to do as an initial response:

Do not overtly invite them to withdraw the complaint or mention that withdrawal is okay. This suggests that you want them to do so and is therefore coercive. “If you’re OK with it [pursuing the complaint]” suggests that you are by default pursuing it and is not coercive. Do not ask for their advice on how to deal with the complaint.

Once something is reported to Girls to the Moon, immediately meet with GTTM staff. The main objectives of this meeting is to find out the following:

  • What happened?
  • Are we doing anything about it?
  • Who is doing those things?
  • When are they doing them?

After the staff meeting and discussion, have a GTTM staffer communicate with the alleged harasser. Make sure to inform them of what has been reported about them.

Allow the alleged harasser to give their side of the story to the staff. After this point, if report stands, let the alleged harasser know what actions will be taken against them.

Some things for Girls to the Moon to consider when dealing with Code of Conduct offenders:

  • Warning the harasser to cease their behavior and that any further reports will result in sanctions.
  • Requiring that the harasser avoid any interaction with, and physical proximity to, their victim for the remainder of the event.
  • Ending a talk that violates the policy early.
  • Not publishing the video or slides of a talk that violated the policy.
  • Not allowing a speaker who violated the policy to give (further) talks at the event now or in the future.
  • Immediately ending any event responsibilities and privileges the harasser holds.
  • Requiring that the harasser not volunteer for future events your organization runs, either indefinitely or for a certain time period.
  • Requiring that the harasser immediately leave the event and not return.
  • Banning the harasser from future events, either indefinitely or for a certain time period.
  • Removing a harasser from membership of relevant organizations, such as banning them from Girls to the Moon’s site and online community.
  • Publishing an account of the harassment and calling for the resignation of the harasser from their responsibilities. (Usually pursued by people without formal authority: may be called for if the harasser is the event leader, or refuses to stand aside from the conflict of interest, or similar, typically event staff have sufficient governing rights over their space that this isn’t as useful.)

Give accused attendees a place to appeal to if there is one, but in the meantime the report stands. Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to encourage an apology from the harasser.

Depending on the incident, Girls to the Moon may decide to make one or more public announcements. If necessary, this will be done with a short announcement either during the event and/or through other channels. No one other than designated Girls to the Moon staff should make any announcements.

License

This Code of Conduct was adopted from the example policy from the Geek Feminism Wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers, which is under a Creative Commons Zero license.