Organisers of FME events are asked to adopt a code of conduct, and put in place associated support for participants. We encourage all organisers of events in the area of formal methods to do the same, and provide here material to support this task. Our view is that the code of conduct is an important statement to reassure colleagues, especially younger or vulnerable colleagues who might find themselves in uncomfortable situations.
The cost of implementing the code of conduct that we suggest is very low. The recommendation is to have a couple of advocates, who should not be senior organisers, but colleagues who can be seen as approachable and available to help. Details of the FME code of conduct and our recommendations for operationalisation are below. This material is available for event organisers to use in whatever way they might find useful.
- Preventing harassment in an FME event.
- Support people who have experienced harassment in an FME event, unless it is already covered by an adequate code of conduct, supported by the association.
- Provide guidelines for conference organizers.
Within the possibilities allowed by local laws:
- To have at least one trained advocate present for the duration of the event to support any attendee who has experienced harassment. (Two, of different genders, is preferable.)
- Include a link to the code of conduct on the call for papers and conference web page.
- At the time of registration, require participants to indicate that they understand the code and agree to abide by it.
- Remind attendees about the code of conduct before the first talk of the conference. It is not enough to mention it at the registration, as some participants are registered by others.
- List the names of the advocates on the conference web page.
- To make sure that the advocates are known and easily identified by all participants.
Within the possibilities allowed by local laws:
- Support any attendee who has experienced harassment.
- Suggesting or providing measures to ensure safety if an individual feels unsafe. (This might include walking the person back to their hotel room or helping the person switch rooms or hotels.)
- Providing contact information for hotel security or local police.
- Providing information about available resources, such as counseling.
- Helping the person figure out how to navigate professionally tricky situations (such as how to decline an unwanted invitation).
- Informing the person about available means of filing an official complaint if they decide to do so.
- Keep discussions confidential, if requested.
- No Means No: Respond to Harassment in the Moment. Webinar sponsored by the Association for Women in Science. (https://vimeo.com/163581972/6b1f96fb72)
- Spot and Stop It: How To End Harassment at Professional Meetings. Webinar sponsored by the Association for Women in Science. (https://vimeo.com/166410162/8dc250e79a)
- Sexual Harassment Resources from the CRA-W (https://cra.org/cra-w/sexual-harassment)
- ACM training video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKfAAU2-qs0)
FME is committed to inclusive event experiences, respectful of all participants, and free of discrimination, harassment, bullying, or retaliation. An inclusive and respectful atmosphere is vital to free expression and the open exchange of ideas, serving the main purpose of the events.
We expect all participants in FME events to:
- Exercise consideration and respect in their speech and actions;
- Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech;
- Be mindful of their surroundings and of their fellow participants;
- Alert any person of the senior organizing team (local organizers, PC chair, steering committee members, and so on) if they notice a dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of this policy, even if they seem inconsequential.
Unacceptable at any FM event is:
- Abuse: Any action directed at an individual that (a) interferes with that person’s participation; or (b) causes that person to fear for their personal safety. This includes threats, intimidation, bullying, stalking, or other types of abuse.
- Discriminatory Harassment: Any conduct that discriminates or denigrates an individual on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, citizenship, nationality, age, sexual or gender identity, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law in the location where the event takes place.
- Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for
sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual
nature. Examples include (but are not limited to):
- unwelcome advances or propositions, particularly when one individual has authority over the other;
- inappropriate touching of an individual’s body;
- degrading or humiliating comments about an individual’s appearance;
- using an activity-related communication channel to display or distribute sexually explicit images or messages.
Unacceptable behaviors include, but are not limited to:
- intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning speech or actions;
- offensive, degrading, humiliating, harmful, or prejudicial verbal or written comments or visual images related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability, age, appearance, or other personal characteristics;
- unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature;
- inappropriate or gratuitous use of nudity, sexual images, or stereotyped images including using an activity
- related communication channel to display or distribute sexually explicit or otherwise offensive or discriminatory images or messages;
- deliberate intimidation, stalking or following;
- harassing photography or recording;
- sustained disruption of talks or other events;
- unwelcome and uninvited attention or contact;
- physical assault (including unwelcome touch or groping);
- real or implied threat of physical harm;
- real or implied threat of professional or financial damage or harm.
Harassment committed in a joking manner or disguised as a compliment still constitutes unacceptable behavior.