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Code of Conduct

The Steering Committee for Women of the Water (the “Committee”) is committed to providing safe and welcoming environments for all who participate in conference events and other Women of the Water community activities, whether in person or in virtual spaces. We will not tolerate any form of harassment, bullying, or discrimination.

As the mission of Women of the Water focuses on the lived experiences and perspectives of women, gender-diverse folks, and people from marginalized and underrepresented communities, uncomfortable topics and differing viewpoints are likely to be discussed. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to embrace a culture of collaboration, compassion, and active listening. Together, we can ensure that our community supports free expression and exchange of ideas in an environment that is positive and productive for all.

Purpose and Scope


The Committee has established this Code of Conduct (the “Code”) to serve as a guideline for the conduct of anyone attending or participating in Women of the Water events or activities, whether in-person or virtual (“Activities”), as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior. We expect everyone to follow this Code so that all participants can enjoy Activities responsibly and with respect for the rights of others. Failure to abide by this Code is subject to corrective action and sanctions, including but not limited to refused admission, ejection from events without refund, refusal of admission for future events or activities, and/or other penalties consistent with this Code. The Code applies to all attendees, media representatives, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, staff, contractors, volunteers, award recipients, organizers, and other guests (collectively referred to as “Participants”) who attend or participate in Activities. By attending Women of the Water Activities, you agree to abide by this Code.


Expected Behavior


The following behaviors are expected of all Participants:

  • Treating all participants with respect, dignity, and consideration, in the spirit of valuing a diversity of views and opinions;

  • Behaving in a courteous and professional manner;

  • Welcoming all voices and perspectives;

  • Listening and learning with respect, empathy, and curiosity;

  • Refraining from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech;

  • Reporting suspected inappropriate behavior directed at yourself or others to a member of the Steering Committee;

  • Respecting the rules, policies, and property of event facilities and vendors; and

  • Complying with the directions of meeting organizers, and all applicable laws and regulations.

Prohibited Behavior


Violations of this Code include but are not limited to the following:

  • Harassment, which is defined for purposes of this Code to include unwelcome or offensive verbal comments, visual displays, or physical contact directed at any Participant, including conduct, comments, or images that a person would reasonably find offensive, demeaning, or hostile;

  • Sexual harassment, which is defined for purposes of this Code to include harassment on the basis on a person’s sex, gender identity, gender expression, or pregnancy status; unwelcome, unsolicited, and unreciprocated sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical conduct, comments, or gestures of a sexual nature that has or that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to offend, humiliate, or intimidate another person;

  • Intentional or repeated mis-gendering of any person;

  • Exhibiting behavior that is unruly or disruptive, or that endangers the health or safety of yourself or others;

  • Discriminatory or defamatory conduct or language based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, pregnancy status, age, national origin, disability, religion, marital status, veteran status, political affinity, or any other characteristic protected by law;

  • Inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images;

  • Deliberate intimidation, threatening, or stalking;

  • Sustained disruption of any portion of the event;

  • Actual or threatened pushing, shoving, or use of any physical force whatsoever against any person;

  • Possession of a weapon or use of any item in a way that may cause danger or harm to any other Participant;

  • Destruction, theft, dismantlement, defacement, abuse, or intentional misuse of venue, property, equipment, signage, or supplies;

  • Failure to comply with directions of Event leaders and organizers, venue personnel, or staff regarding Event operations or emergency response procedures;

  • Retaliation against Participants for reporting activity that they reasonably believed to be in violation of this Code; and

  • Knowingly and falsely reporting violations of this Code in bad faith.


Moreover, this Code is not intended to be comprehensive, and it is likely there will be conduct issues that it does not specifically address. In that event, as in all others, Participants are expected to follow the direction of the Committee and Event staff who will take appropriate action to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of all Participants.

Reporting Unacceptable Behavior


If you believe you or someone else are being subjected to conduct that violates this Code or is otherwise inappropriate, or have any other concerns, please alert a member of the Steering Committee who will work to resolve the situation.


Approved May 2022; Updated August 2023

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