Code of Conduct

Women in Astronomy IV is dedicated to providing an inclusive and safe conference experience for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, or religion. Due to the sensitive and personal nature of some of the topics addressed at the meeting, confidentiality will be expected from the participants in some sessions (and will be announced at the start of those sessions).

WIA IV will challenge its participants to address sometimes difficult issues in thoughtful discourse and reflection. To support each other in a community of inclusive conversation, we will abide by the “oops, ouch” paradigm for addressing sensitive topics. If you say something that is hurtful or problematic and you realize it, you can say “oops” to acknowledge it and then try again. Alternatively, if someone else says something that is hurtful or problematic, you can say “ouch” to indicate something that needs to be addressed.

Harassment in any form will not be tolerated. Sexual or otherwise offensive language and imagery are not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organizers.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Verbal harassment or intimidation
  • Sexual images in public spaces
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Inappropriate physical contact
  • Unwelcome[1] sexual attention
  • Advocating or encouraging any of the above behavior

At the beginning of a session, the session may be declared to be confidential by the session leader or chair, or confidentiality may be requested by a participant. Confidentiality consists of a commitment not to:

  • report or discuss personal matters disclosed by another participant outside of the context of the session where the disclosure happened
  • use or act upon the knowledge of personal matters disclosed by another participant

[1] Conduct is unwelcome when the recipient regards the conduct as undesirable or offensive. When in doubt, don’t do or say it.


Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Exhibitors in the exhibit hall, sponsor or vendor tables, or similar venues are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, exhibitors should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material. Exhibit staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualized environment.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, conference organizers retain the right to take actions to keep the event a welcoming environment for all participants, with respect for due process. This includes warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

Conference organizers may take action to redress anything designed to disrupt the event or make the environment hostile for any participants, or anything which clearly achieves that effect. These decisions will be made by two or more members of the organizing committee, who will meet and agree on sanctions (if necessary), applying “reasonable person standards.”

We expect participants to follow these rules at all event venues and event-related social activities.


If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, please report it as soon as possible to a member of the conference staff. Conference organizers can be identified by their special badges. If a violation by a conference organizer should occur, the report will be handled by the rest of the conference organizers. Harassment and other code-of-conduct violations would reduce the value of our event for everyone. Your report can be either personal or anonymous.

We want you to be happy at our event. People like you make our event a better place.

Anonymous Report

You can make an anonymous report here [TBD]

We can't follow up an anonymous report with you directly, but we will fully investigate it and take whatever action is needed to prevent a recurrence, such as verbal warning or expulsion of the offender as described above.

Personal Report

You can make a personal report by:

  • Calling or messaging this phone number: [TBD]. This phone number will be continuously monitored for the duration of the event.
  • Contacting a conference organizer, identified by special badges.
  • When taking a personal report, our staff will ensure you are safe and cannot be overheard. They may involve other conference organizer to ensure your report is managed properly. Once safe, we'll ask you to tell us about what happened. This can be upsetting, but we'll handle it as respectfully as possible, and you can bring someone to support you. You won't be asked to confront anyone and we won't tell anyone who you are.


Our team will be happy to help you contact hotel/venue security, local law enforcement, local support services, to provide escorts, or otherwise to assist you to feel safe for the duration of the event.

  • Email address for organizers:
  • AAS Harrassment Hotline: (202) 688-1993
  • Austin PD: (512) 974-5000
  • SafePlace/Austin Rape Crisis: 512-267-SAFE(7233)
  • MedSpring Urgent Care, UT: (512) 861-8030, 2120 Guadalupe St
  • Austin Cab: (512) 478-2222


You'll find a Glossary for WiA here

Downloadable Version: Glossary