Our Code of Conduct (CoC)
Security events present opportunities to learn, share knowledge and network. As a security event organiser, we believe these events should represent a safe, enjoyable and inclusive environment for all people, irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, religion, disability, socioeconomic background, experience, size, shape and so on. No one should undergo harassment, bullying or abuse. Any sign of such behaviour will be deemed unacceptable and will be handled in line with our zero-tolerance policy. We will apply consistent, specific sanctions regardless of the circumstances to ensure they do not reoccur. This CoC explains exactly what we mean by unacceptable behaviour and it outlines the steps someone subjected to such behaviour at an event can take to report it.
Why do we need a CoC?
Unfortunately, unacceptable behaviour still occurs and whilst harassment metrics are yet to be introduced and measured, anecdotal reports are widespread and have been reported in the media and social media platforms for years. This has reportedly resulted in increased dissatisfaction and non-attendance by some minorities who feel disenfranchised and threatened. The purpose of this CoC is to get participants fully aligned on what constitutes unacceptable behaviour, how victims can report it, and what will be done about it.
Who is our CoC for?
Our CoC is for event attendees, speakers, sponsors, partners, facilities staff, committee and Board members.
How we Define Acceptable and Unacceptable Behaviour
People’s interpretation of acceptable or unacceptable behaviour is subjective and influenced by personal experience. That’s why we believe it’s important to define what we mean by both.
As an event organiser, we expect everyone to be professional and respectful to others at all times. Everyone should be aware of the impact their behaviour can have on others. We ask that you:
- Respect the venue, the staff and any equipment you may be allowed to use.
- Be courteous and well-mannered when speaking to someone or engaging with them.
- Treat people the same way you would like to be treated.
- Respect someone’s personal space and body – when someone says no it is no, not maybe.
Unacceptable behaviour is offensive in nature – it disturbs, upsets or threatens. It lowers self-esteem or causes overwhelming torment. It is characteristically repetitive and can take the following forms:
- Derogatory, inflammatory or discriminatory language, comments or conduct.
- Engineered episodes of intimidation, aggressive actions or repeated gestures.
- Heckling and disruption of talks.
- Presenting staff or volunteers in inappropriate attire e.g. sexualised clothing.
- Using sexual images or sex toys in public spaces.
- Unwanted photography or recordings.
- Stalking or following.
- Persistent and unwanted sexual advances.
- Attention or encouraging any of this behaviour.
- Unwanted physical contact.
How to Report Unacceptable Behaviour
Option 1. Speak up. See it, say it, sort it. If you are disrespected, or witness this happening to someone else, engage politely with the person involved, if you feel able to, and let them know that you find their behaviour unacceptable and offensive. Sometimes the best way to change unacceptable behaviour is by bringing it to the perpetrator’s attention and giving them an opportunity to acknowledge this and apologise.
Option 2. Report it to us via any of the following ways:
- Inform a member of our event staff who can be identified by their badge.
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Use our event hashtag on Twitter #hackingdivconf along with #RespectInSecurity.
When reporting, please provide as much detail as possible, preferably:
- Your name and contact details (email, cell/mobile phone and address).
- The time it occurred.
- The place it occurred.
- The names and contact details of any witnesses.
We don’t have a time limit for reporting unacceptable behaviour, although we encourage you to do it as quickly as possible, as it can be difficult to obtain accurate witness statements the longer time passes. If you report unacceptable behaviour more than 3-months after an incident, you should explain why. We will consider your explanation and then endeavour to deal with your report.
How we Handle Unacceptable Behaviour
We are committed to ensuring that you experience a positive, enjoyable and inclusive event. We strive for customer service excellence when reporting unacceptable behaviour. That’s why, for the duration of our event, we will have an appropriately trained event officer who will be available for event staff and monitoring event inboxes, feedback forms and social media channels. When you report unacceptable behaviour to us we will respond promptly and with care, consideration and respect. Our process is as follows:
- We will acknowledge your report and reply via email within one day.
- We will perform a thorough investigation within one week. We will not comment on your experience or perception of it. We will keep it wholly professional and confidential. We will treat all of the people involved fairly and objectively, irrespective of what our relationship with them is.
- Upon completion of our investigation, we will email you to report our findings and the course of sanctions we plan to apply, along with the timescales. In some cases, we will apply sanctions on the spot. If we have applied these we will let you know.
- We will apply the appropriate sanctions e.g. warnings, direction to learning resources on the topic of harassment, bullying or anti-social behaviour, temporary or permanent suspensions, and if necessary report them to the police. If there are legal considerations we will explain them to you. We will take in to consideration your wishes in any enforcement.
- We will suggest measures we can take to ensure incidents of this nature do not reoccur at future events.
- We will not name and shame individuals, but we will analyse our progress with regards to unacceptable behaviour and publish our findings annually on our website.
- We will maintain a list of banned event participants and share these with other event organisers if we so desire.
Hacking Diversity Conference and our board of directors, Technology Diversified, reserve the right to remove anyone from the conference at any time, at our discretion.