Purpose of the Code of Conduct:
The organizers of “Bridges between disciplines: Gender in STEM and Social Sciences” (from now on BRIDGES) are committed to providing a safe and inclusive space, with respectful and equitable treatment for everyone. This code is meant to guide delegates, convenors, committees, collaborators, and people who might be involved with BRIDGES in other ways.
Approach and principles:
This code draws on an intersectional perspective, considering the interlocking character of gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, class, age, disability, and religion/creed as axes of discrimination and oppression. The code revolves around the principles of prevention, detection, intervention, support, reparation, guarantees of non-retaliation and non-repetition.
Not acceptable conduct at BRIDGES:
Scope. BRIDGES will not accept any form of inappropriate conduct, behaviour, act, practice, and interaction happening at both onsite and online events, being verbal or physical, in a horizontal or vertical modality.
Wide-ranging inappropriate conduct. BRIDGES will understand as a violation and code breach the following forms of inappropriate conduct that – related to gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, class, age, disability and religion/creed – could take place in spaces, workshops and other events, namely: professional dishonesty; mistreatment; diminishing comments; derogatory jokes; hate speech; privacy violations; defamation; stalking; threatening; blackmailing; labour harassment; sexual harassment; unwanted, undesired or unauthorized touching; assault; rape; retaliation.
Principles. BRIDGES is committed to the principles of accountability, responsiveness, confidentiality, transparency, resolution, and evaluation in case of incident-based reporting.
Reporting procedures. Any individual that experienced any of the aforementioned inappropriate conduct (or any other kind of disrespectful or abusive treatment not identified in this code) in the context of the BRIDGES meeting can inform and report the incident to BRIDGES Anti-discrimination Committee. There are two anticipated procedures to register or report an incident:
- Anonymous informal complaint. Anyone who feels disrespected, mistreated, discriminated against, offended and/or abused, but do not want to reveal their identity, can submit an anonymous complaint following the form set up on the BRIDGES website. Anonymous complaints do not generate direct intervention or response but will help to keep track of the discriminatory dynamics taking place in BRIDGES spaces and events allowing to increase awareness.
- Formal report. Anyone who feels disrespected, mistreated, discriminated against, offended and/or abused can report following the formal confidential procedure. The formal report is the only procedure that, following the Anti-Discrimination Committee evaluation, would allow BRIDGES to take actions regarding offenders/perpetrators, bystanders, and victims.
The formal reporting procedure will be loyal to the confidentiality principle. All the information will be properly examined while protecting the identity of all parties involved (complainants, offenders/perpetrators, witnesses) until the incident and subsequent investigation is resolved, and those involved are notified.
Formal reporting scenario. BRIDGES is, at all times, responsible for responding to an incident-case report. The complaint/report is referred to the Anti-discrimination Committee.
Any consultation with a person from the Anti-discrimination Committee comes with an assurance of anonymity, unless or until the consent of otherwise is expressly given. Whoever receives anonymous complaints will pass them to the rest of the Anti-discrimination Committee, who will consider, record and monitor the situation.
BRIDGES Anti-discrimination Committee:
The Anti-discrimination Committee is composed of senior members and trained staff. The Code of Conduct and Anti-discrimination Committee were specifically established for BRIDGES. Following its principles, the Committee will be in charge of the investigation, fact-finding, fact-checking, resolution (upheld or dismissed report) and action (support, arbitration and sanction). If an individual from the Committee is involved in the complaint, that individual will be excluded from the procedure.
Response, resolution and action: If the Anti-discrimination Committee upholds an incident-based report, the undertaken action(s) will depend on the scale, scenario and modality of the Code of Conduct violation. In any case, the Committee will consider the interests and needs of the complainants, guaranteeing their safety and preventing them from suffering any form of retaliation. That is why confidentiality is one of the key principles in BRIDGES procedures. In addition, the resolution process will always be carried out with transparency, avoiding any form of conflict of interest and bad-faith decisions.
Response. The wide-ranging response BRIDGES could give ranges from arbitration between the parts/agents involved (being horizontal or vertical dynamics) to specific sanctions (expulsion and dismissal).
Incident-based actions. The actions that the Committee can take vary according to the level of the breach/violation itself. Thus, BRIDGES may bring into force four stages of action:
- Wake-up call to the offender/perpetrator.
- Mediation talks with the parts involved (if possible and authorised by the parts).
- Expulsion of the offender/perpetrator from ongoing activities.
- Prohibition of the offender/perpetrator from upcoming events.
Feedback and evaluation:
Through both the informal and formal complaint and reporting procedures, BRIDGES will be able to weigh, analyse and evaluate not only the applicability and impact of this Code of Conduct (feedback) but also the state of play with respect to equality, equity, and inclusivity in BRIDGES spaces. In sum, that will allow to design and implement better Action Plans against misconduct, harassment, discrimination, and other forms of abuse that might affect staff, participants, or collaborators.
Final note: the names of the members of the Anti-discrimination Committee and the contact forms for anonymous and formal reports will soon be added to this page.