Principled Spaces Policy

The Future Leaders Fellows Development Network Principled Spaces Policy

Version 1 – July 2022

General principles

  • The Future Leaders Fellows Development Network wants all Fellows to feel comfortable to contribute to our events, workshops and activities. To this end, we expect participants to treat each other with dignity and respect. Our Principled Spaces Policy outlines the approach we expect participants in the Network to adhere to when attending events and when representing the Network.

 

Brief

  • All communication, be it online or in person, will be appropriate for a professional audience and be considerate of people from different cultural backgrounds
  • We will be kind to each other and will not insult or degrade other participants
  • We agree that harassment and exclusionary jokes are not appropriate (please see Glossary below for our definition of harassment)
  • We will contribute to discussion constructively and positively
  • We will make efforts to be aware of our privilege(s), and respond constructively to opportunities to learn more about our privilege(s)
  • We will believe people’s accounts of their experiences of marginalisation, and honour people’s vulnerability by not disputing their lived experience, questions designed to learn/further understanding may be appropriate provided they are respectful and not overly intrusive
  • We will respect everyone’s pronouns
  • In some situations, experiences shared may be deeply personal and should be treated in the strictest confidence.
  • When sharing experiences on social media, we will respect other participants; we will not make derogatory comments or posts about any person in the discussion, or to share experiences that are not ours without explicit consent.1

 Detailed

  • The Future Leaders Fellows Development Network is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone participating in our events, activities and workshops. We are conscious of creating a space where sensitive topics can be discussed, and where participants feel able to ask questions without fear of reprisal or humiliation. We will not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. Any participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event. Repeat behaviour resulting in expulsion will be reported to UKRI.
  • If a participant engages in behaviour contrary to our EDI policy or the examples listed in the brief, the organisers may take appropriate action, including warning the offender or expelling them from the event/activity. Participants asked to stop any behaviour are expected to comply immediately. If you are experiencing harassment or behaviour you believe contravenes our EDI policy, notice that someone else is experiencing this, or have any other concerns, please contact Bridget Mellifont, our Community Manager, by email (hello@flfdevnet.com). If the situation is urgent or ongoing, you may contact Bridget by telephone at 07984 831153.
  • When discussing incidents of harassment or other negative behaviours, we will make every effort to ensure you feel safe and free to speak. We may involve other staff to ensure your report is managed properly, and you may bring someone to support you if you’d like. You will not be asked to confront anyone. If you report an incident, we may not be able to guarantee complete confidentiality (e.g. if there are immediate safety concerns), but we will treat any information you give us with discretion and respect. Sometimes there may not be enough evidence available for us to take action against another participant. Where this occurs, we will explain this to you, and try to find out whether there are other ways to support you.
  • All participants at our events are encouraged to share their pronouns using the pronoun stickers provided at in-person events, or adding them to their username on Zoom at online events, if they are comfortable doing so. This enables everyone to know the correct way to refer to people.
  • We encourage those in our Network to pay attention to the diversity in the spaces they operate in and consider whether they are in a privileged position or potentially hold more power and influence than others in the room. For example: because the UK population is majority white, white people tend to be used to being in rooms where they are well represented. This affords an often-unacknowledged privilege of fitting in or not standing out as different.
  • If your privilege is pointed out to you or acknowledged by others, please take the time to reflect and respond constructively rather than simply denying or defending your position. Open conversations lead to greater understanding.
  • When someone is sharing their experience of marginalisation or even exclusion (e.g. the experience of being one of the few women of colour in a specific academic field), it is important that we listen and understand that experience. Open questions may be appropriate to further understand but be aware than some may not feel comfortable expanding depending on how vulnerable they are in a situation. Allow the person sharing their lived experience to lead the conversation, so that they have control over their experience.

 

Glossary of terms

Privilege:  when we refer to ‘privilege’ in the context of this policy, we are specifically discussing the concept of ‘identity privilege’, which is any unearned benefit or advantage or lack of disadvantage one receives or experiences in society by nature of their identity.

Marginalised: this term (and variations thereof) is used by this policy to refer to people or groups of people who are not well represented or included in society or the spaces we typically operate in. We use this term instead of minoritised as it is sometimes the case that marginalised people are not in the mathematical minority.

Oppression(s): this term refers to the experience of unjust treatment experienced by many marginalised people/groups.

Lived experience: is personal knowledge about the world that is gained through first-hand involvement in everyday events.

Harassment: offensive verbal comments and/or imagery related to gender, gender reassignment, gender identity and expression, age, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, sex, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion or belief and/or technology choices. Other examples of harassment include sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, sustained disruption of talks or other events, and inappropriate physical contact. All examples of harassment are equally important.

 

Footnotes

  1. Chatham House Rule: When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed
  2. Derived from: https://barcworkshop.org/resources/principled-space/

Other elements of this Code of Conduct have been adapted from: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Conference_anti-harassment/Policy