This document summarises the procedures the TechFoundHer team will follow when someone shares or reports an incident of harassment.
Summary of processes
When a member of the TechFoundHer crew receive a report of a possible harassment at a live event they will will:
- Acknowledge the receipt of the report
- Evaluate the seriousness of the reported incident and whether immediate action is needed e.g. contact security if someone is in danger.
- Escalate to Mairn Murray or Vicky Twomey-Lee, or the other person nominated if they are not available or there is a conflict of interest.
- As a team, we agree on the action needed to investigate and how to resolve it.
- Discuss when a member of the TechFoundHer crew receives a report of a possible harassment incident at a virtual event Code of Conduct violation, they will:
- Acknowledge receipt of the report
- Follow up with the reported person.
- Decide further responses.
- Follow up with the reporter.
Reporters should receive an emailed acknowledgment of the receipt of their report within 24 hours.
Conflict of interest policy
Examples of conflicts of interest include:
- The reporter or reported person is your manager
- You have a romantic or platonic relationship with either the reporter or the reported person. It’s fine to participate if they are an acquaintance.
- The reporter or reported person is your metamour. (This is a term used in the poly community; the short definition is here, and a longer description is here).
- The reporter or reported person is your family member
- The reporter or reported person is your direct client
- The reporter or reported person is someone you work closely with. This could be someone on your team or someone who works on the same project as you.
- The reporter or reported person is a maintainer who regularly reviews your contributions
Anyone who has a conflict of interest will remove themselves from the discussion of the incident, and recuse themselves from voting on a response to the report.
Evaluating a report
What is the impact on the person who experienced the harassment or those who witnessed it? How do they feel? How will their behaviour change because of it? What is the impact on their health, safety, reputation, career etc? Has a law been broken?
Does this pose an immediate safety risk? Is anyone in a position of danger? Is anyone behaving erratically which might indicate drink or drugs or a mental health crisis? Does the behaviour put a person’s physical safety at risk? Is there a risk of this behaviour being repeated? Does the reported person understand why their behaviour was inappropriate? Is there an established pattern of behaviour from past reports?
If someone is in a position of danger then they need to remove themselves from the situation and the event security team need to be called immediately and where appropriate the police.
Propose a behavioural modification plan
The TechFoundHer team will take action to reduce and remove risk and resolve as best they can.
What follows are examples of possible behavioural modification plans for incidents that occur in online spaces under the scope of this Code of Conduct. This behavioural modification list is not inclusive, and the event staff reserves the right to take any action it deems necessary.
- Requiring that the reported person not use specific language
- Requiring that the reported person not join in on specific types of discussions
- Requiring that the reported person not send private messages to a community member
- Requiring that the reported person not join specific communication channels
- Removing the reported person from administrator or moderator rights to community infrastructure
- Removing a volunteer from their duties and responsibilities
- Removing a person from leadership of relevant organisations
- Removing a person from membership of relevant organisations
What follows are examples of possible consequences to an incident report. This consequences list is not inclusive, and the event staff reserves the right to take any action it deems necessary.
Possible private responses to an incident include:
- Nothing, if the behaviour was determined to not be a Code of Conduct violation
- A verbal or emailed warning
- A final warning
- Temporarily removing the reported person from the online community
- Permanently removing the reported person from the online community
- Publishing an account of the incident
Follow up with the reported person
The event staff will work with online community administrators/moderators to draft a response to the reported person. The email should contain:
- A description of the person’s behaviour in neutral language
- The negative impact of that behaviour
- A concrete behavioural modification plan
- Any consequences of their behaviour
The work group should not state who reported this incident. They should attempt to anonymize any identifying information from the report. The reported person should be discouraged from contacting the reporter to discuss the report. If they wish to apologise to the reporter, the work group can accept the apology on behalf of the reporter
Decide further responses
If the reported person provides additional context, the event staff may need to re-evaluate the behavioural modification plan and consequences.
Follow up with the reporter
A person who makes a report should receive a follow up email stating what action was taken in response to the report. If the work group decided no response was needed, they should provide an email explaining why it was not a Code of Conduct violation. Reports that are not made in good faith (such as “reverse sexism” or “reverse racism”) may receive no response.
The follow up email should be sent no later than one week after the receipt of the report. If deliberation or follow up with the reported person takes longer than one week, the work group should send a status email to the reporter.
Note that this is a living document updated by TechFoundHer. Last updated: 2023-02-25.
- The PyCon Code of Conduct is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
- Ada Initiative’s guide titled “Conference anti-harassment/Responding to Reports” is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License
- Audrey Eschright of Safety First PDX provided the impact vs risk assessment framework, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported License by Audrey Eschright of Safety First PDX
- Code of Conduct template was created by Otter Tech and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License