This website was started after Slush Conference in Helsinki in December 2016, after several complaints of sexist behaviour and harassing were recorded during the event. It was first talked about in social media, after which the press also wrote about the zero-tolerance that the conference organisation has against this kind of behaviour. The founding partners decided to collaborate to create this anti-harassment Code of Conduct campaign as a result of these events.
1. TALK ABOUT IT OUT LOUD.
The amount of shares, likes, support not only offers moral support to those harassed, but also can act as a deterrent to potential harassers.
2. TALK ABOUT IT RIGHT AWAY.
Do not wait for something really bad to happen.
3. CREATE A CODE OF CONDUCT.
With different cultures coming together, don’t presume that what we believe is the norm for everybody. A CoC can help create common ground for everybody.
4. MAKE IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO REACT AND SUPPORT.
Different social media channels are great for this. Campaign models exist as well as stickers for causes that could be used to share the message. This kind of zero-tolerance activism from companies and their employees is powerful.
5. MAKE IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO REPORT.
There should be also a possibility to report anonymously. While Finnish law condemns sexual harassment we are still working against sexism especially in the tech industry.
6. USE COLLABORATIVE ACTIVISM.
Many people are ready to give a bit of their time to make all this happen. Let them co-create.
7. PREFER THOUGHT LEADERS.
Strong leaders who publicly condemn bad behaviour or support the cause should be invited as panelists, speakers and guests to events. This will help to show a good example of standing up to sexism and lend moral support to those harassed.
8. DO NOT BLAME OTHERS.
It is not alcohol, it is not the tech and business scene, it is not gender specific, it is not the amount of men vs. women in attendance, it is not the ego or money. Harassment and sexism result from the actions of individuals.
HOW CAN WE AS AN ORGANISATION ENFORCE THIS CODE OF CONDUCT INTERNALLY?
- Discussing with the members of your organisation, especially as a preventive method
- Deciding on your own rules and case specific sanctions
HOW CAN WE AS AN ORGANISATION CREATE A SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT?
- Have a dedicated responsible person available
- Create an easy way to report any violations
- Share the ideology and the tools we have given to you with your employees and stakeholders
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?
WHAT ABOUT IN EVENTS AND CONFERENCES?
- See advice about event specific harassment policies here
Media articles on sexual harassment at Slush, collected to a Coveragebook by San Francisco Agency
Timeline of incidents in geek communities around the world (external site)
Helsinki Code was created together with the support of the following partners. Together we aim to share and implement the Code of Conduct among a wider audience. This site was created by Juhani Polkko - the ultimate startup marketer, Oona Colliander and Tom Engström - the techy designers and Rasheka Scott - the tech-savvy lawyer.