ESWN Code of Conduct

Earth Science Women’s Network

Code of Conduct

Approved by ESWN Board of Directors on January 20, 2022.

ESWN’s vision is to be a trusted and respected organization that supports career development, mentorship, and networking across all of geosciences. ESWN aspires to transform scientific culture and institutions to advance justice, equity, inclusivity, and community.

The 2021 ESWN Strategic Plan outlines the core values of the ESWN community. These core values were decided upon through a survey of our membership, and are:

  • Community
  • Respect
  • Equity
  • Inclusivity
  • Mentorship

As an ESWN community, we each have a responsibility to uphold these values when engaging with one another.

The Earth Science Women’s Network Code of Conduct applies to all ESWN spaces — in-person events and activities, virtual, and hybrid.

Individuals who do not abide by the guidelines outlined in this code will be asked to leave (or will be removed). Future consequences (including membership status or ability to attend any ESWN events) will be determined at the Board of Directors’ discretion.

We expect those who engage with our community to participate in a way that:

Fosters Community

ESWN events should foster community within the geosciences and beyond. This looks like:

  • Having open and constructive discussions with other community members.
  • Intentionally engaging in ESWN events and activities to the best of your ability.
  • Inviting others to participate in ESWN.
  • Being open to both being the expert or learner in the activity, and being flexible enough to switch between those roles when appropriate
  • Engaging in authentic, expressive discussions, but maintaining confidentiality of sensitive and private information.

Is Respectful

Everyone participating in ESWN events should respect others attending the event or participating in the forum. This looks like:

  • Not interrupting those who are speaking.
  • Being kind to yourself and others.
  • Striving to understand different perspectives.
  • Keeping the focus on ideas in debates.
  • Being open to learning and being corrected.
  • Keep discussions appropriate for the context and audience.

Is Equitable and Inclusive

ESWN events should feel welcoming to all participants. This looks like:

  • Using tools and technology for universal access and facilitate participation from everyone (e.g. text chat, closed captioning)
  • Opening events to as broad an audience as practical and possible.
  • Making sure that everyone’s voice is heard.
  • Lifting less-heard voices.
  • Advertising events widely.
  • Using inclusive language (e.g., offering opportunities to share pronouns)
  • Secure virtual meeting practices to ensure a safer space (e.g. use of a waiting room and pre-registration)

Fosters Mentorship

ESWN events should foster mentorship. This looks like:

  • Listening to all perspectives.
  • Openly engaging in discussion of changing cultural norms and backgrounds
  • Providing resources to other scientists during discussions.
  • Honest communication about career pathways and expectations.

Reporting Procedures

If you believe you’re experiencing unacceptable behavior that will not be tolerated as outlined below, please speak to the organizer during in person events, message the meeting host during virtual events, or contact the ESWN Board of Directors by emailing [email protected].

Behavior That Will Not Be Tolerated

The following behaviors are considered to be unacceptable under these guidelines.

Violence and Threats of Violence

Violence and threats of violence are not acceptable – online or offline. This includes incitement of violence toward any individual, including encouraging a person to commit self-harm. This also includes posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information (“doxxing”) online.

Personal Attacks

Conflicts will inevitably arise, but frustration should never turn into a personal attack. It is not okay to insult, demean or belittle others. Attacking someone for their opinions, beliefs and ideas is not acceptable. It is important to speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve, but such discussions must be conducted respectfully and professionally, remaining focused on the issue at hand.

Derogatory Language

Hurtful or harmful language related to:

  • Ability
  • Age
  • Background
  • Body size
  • Caste
  • Ethnicity
  • Family status
  • Gender Identity or expression
  • Geographic location
  • Marital status
  • National origin
  • Native language
  • Physical appearance
  • Political affiliations
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Other attributes

is not acceptable. This includes deliberately referring to someone by a gender that they do not identify with, deadnaming, and/or questioning the legitimacy of an individual’s gender identity. If you’re unsure if a word is derogatory, don’t use it. This also includes repeated subtle and/or indirect discrimination; when asked to stop, stop the behavior in question.

Unwelcome Sexual Attention or Physical Contact

Unwelcome sexual attention or unwelcome physical contact is not acceptable. This includes sexualized comments, jokes or imagery in interactions, communications or presentation materials, as well as inappropriate touching, groping, or sexual advances. Additionally, touching a person without permission, including but not limited to their hair, pregnant stomach, mobility device (wheelchair, scooter, etc) or tattoos is unacceptable. This also includes physically blocking or intimidating another person. Physical contact or simulated physical contact (such as emojis like “kiss”) without affirmative consent is not acceptable. The sharing or distribution of sexualized images or text is unacceptable.

Disruptive Behavior

Sustained disruption of events, forums, or meetings, including talks and presentations, will not be tolerated. This includes:

  • ‘Talking over’, ‘heckling’ or harassing speakers, including verbally and/or in writing.
  • Direct messaging hosts and/or participants with unfavorable conversations/messages
  • Drinking alcohol to excess or using recreational drugs to excess, or pressuring others to do so.
  • Making derogatory comments about those who abstain from alcohol or other substances.
  • Otherwise influencing crowd actions that cause hostility in the session.

Influencing Unacceptable Behavior

Participating in or encouraging unacceptable behaviors, as outlined in the guidelines above, will not be tolerated.

Citations: Some of the language and format of this code of conduct was adopted from the Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement’s Community Participation Guidelines ( 

This set of guidelines is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.