Harassment at Conferences

Submitted by kattekrab on Sun, 05/12/2010 - 20:46

I was involved in the development and implementation of a code of conduct for the recent OSDC2010 conference held in Melbourne last month. That code was based on a draft of the conference anti-harassment policy that's since been released at geekfeminism.wikia.org.

I really hope LCA2011 adopts an anti-harassment policy. It would be a real shame if it didn't. Incidents have occurred at our conference in the past. I imagine most people in our community who are aware of those incidents were shocked and revolted by them.  Most people in our community would agree we should not put up with unwelcome sexual attention, harassment or assault. Most people would accept that having a policy sends a strong message, loud and clear, that such behaviour is not acceptable at our event.

I do agree it's a shame we need to specify this, but events have shown we do. And the time to do this is now.

Adding a more detailed and specific policy against harassment, would extend the excellent work done by Susanne Ruthven for LCA2010 in adding a clause on discrimination to the conference terms and conditions.

As a former organiser of linux.conf.au - I strongly advocate the current team adopt an anti-harassment policy.