Ethics

The SKAO is committed to maintaining the highest standards of business ethics. Our Code of Ethics applies to everyone involved in SKAO-related business. A Code of Conduct for Meetings and Events is in place for all SKAO-organised or sponsored events, reflecting the SKAO’s commitment to ensuring that everyone can enjoy taking part in its science, training and public outreach activities. The Guidelines for External Facilitators and Trainers reinforce our values and expected behaviours for third parties we work with.

Code of Ethics

Everyone involved in the SKA Observatory shares responsibility for the welfare of the SKA community and the reputation of the organisation. All members of the SKA Community must act ethically in the conduct of their work, in relations with members of the public and other members of the community. All members of the SKA Community are required to act ethically in their professional activities, encourage ethical behaviour by staff, colleagues, and employers and to consult with others as needed regarding ethical problems and concerns. 

The Code defines the standards and professional behaviours expected of the SKA Community and sets out the minimum standards of ethical behaviour relating to work carried out in support of the SKA Observatory. The Code of Ethics applies in the workplace, and outside the workplace, where actions could cause SKA Observatory reputational damage. 

This Policy applies to all members of the SKA Community, including but not limited to: employees, secondees, studentships, fellowships, consortium members, contractors, affiliates, and meeting attendees. It is the responsibility of all members of the SKA Community to ensure that they understand their responsibilities.

This Code sits alongside the SKAO Code of Conduct for Meetings and Events, which is also applicable for anyone who works directly for SKAO either as a staff member, temporary worker, secondee, intern or contractor and includes those acting on behalf of the organisation. 

SKAO Code of Ethics

The Code defines the standards and professional behaviours expected of the SKA Community and sets out the minimum standards of ethical behaviour relating to work carried out in support of the SKA Observatory.

Code of Conduct for Meetings and Events

This Code of Conduct applies to all SKAO-organised or hosted meetings and events. It is also available for all SKAO-sponsored meetings and events if no other code is available. It is the responsibility of organisers to ensure that it is advertised appropriately to participants. Feel free to copy this text and place it directly on your meeting's website, with a link referring back to this page for more information.

The SKA Observatory (SKAO) aims to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone feels they belong, there is fairness and respect for all individuals, and diverse perspectives and ideas thrive. This means cultural differences are to be respected, and harassment, bullying and discrimination will not be tolerated. More details are provided in the SKAO Code of Ethics.

All SKA meeting and event participants must contribute to an environment that encourages the creation and exchange of ideas, recognises and values differences and celebrates the diversity and contributions made by people of a range of cultures and backgrounds.

Expected behaviours

SKAO expects meeting organisers and Chairs to act as champions for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, both by demonstrating behaviours consistent with this Code of Conduct and by ensuring it is adhered to by all meeting participants.

SKA meeting and event participants are expected to behave professionally, in accordance with this code together with any relevant policies of their employer. All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. We further expect participants to:

  • Act with kindness, compassion and understanding. Assume others are acting with a positive intent when unsure. 
  • Address and acknowledge everyone equally and ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to make comments, ask questions and voice opinions.
  • Use inclusive language (e.g. use gender neutral terms to describe generic roles)
  • Use social media responsibly, respecting both individuals and the organisation hosting the meeting

Unacceptable behaviour

  • Harassment and sexist, racist or exclusionary comments, jokes or imagery. Harassment, discrimination or offensive comments on the grounds of gender or sex, race, colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin, religion and belief, age, marital or civil partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, gender reassignment, disability, pregnancy or maternity, family or carers responsibilities or any other protected characteristic. Harassment includes sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, sexual attention or innuendo, deliberate intimidation, stalking, and photography or recording of an individual without consent.
  • Bullying, including unwelcome or unreasonable behaviour that demeans, intimidates, humiliates, or sabotages the work of people, either as individuals or as a group. Bullying behaviour is most often aggressive, persistent, and part of a pattern, but it can also occur as a single egregious incident. It is usually carried out by an individual but can also be an aspect of group behaviour. 

Reporting and consequences of inappropriate behaviour

Meeting participants are encouraged to address perceived breaches to this Code of Conduct in a way that makes them most comfortable. 

For minor infractions meeting participants may:

  • Appropriately and respectfully correct language within the meeting
  • Make the meeting chair aware of instances where certain individuals or demographics are being underrepresented or ignored in discussions 
  • Report incidents to the meeting chair, member of meeting or event organising committee, designated ally, or participating SKAO staff member who can help resolve the issue.

In the case of more serious breaches, including those related to bullying or harassment:

  • Make a formal report to the SKAO which will then trigger the procedure outlined in the SKAO Code of Ethics.

Individuals asked to stop any inappropriate behaviour by an event organiser or chairperson are expected to comply immediately.

Anyone violating this Code of Conduct may be directed to leave the meeting or event (without a refund of any registration or admission fee). Serious breaches may result in further action by the SKAO. 

Guidelines for external facilitators and trainers

These guidelines apply to all trainings the SKAO organises. They should be provided to external facilitators and trainers to ensure that the behaviour of trainers and facilitators is in line with our values. It is the responsibility of training organisers to ensure that it is made available to external facilitators and trainers.

Introduction

The SKA Observatory (SKAO) is an international, collaborative organisation and our staff, associates and broader SKA community represent many nationalities and cultures. We aim to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone feels they belong, there is fairness and respect for all individuals, and diverse perspectives and ideas thrive. This means cultural differences are to be respected, and harassment, bullying and discrimination will not be tolerated. More details are provided in the SKAO Code of Ethics above.

All SKA meeting and event participants, including external trainers and facilitators, must contribute to an environment that encourages the creation and exchange of ideas, recognises and values differences and celebrates the diversity and contributions made by people of a range of cultures, genders, and backgrounds.

The expectations of SKAO with respect to meeting participants is addressed in the Code of Conduct for SKA Meetings and Events above. This Guidelines document primarily addresses SKAO’s expectations with respect to the behaviour of trainers and facilitators themselves.

Expected behaviours

We expect all external trainers and facilitators to behave in accordance with our values, maintaining professionalism, in-line with these guidelines. All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds, genders, and cultures. We further expect that all trainers and facilitators to:

  • Address and acknowledge everyone equally and ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to make comments, ask questions and voice opinions.
  • Use inclusive language and imagery, including, for example, using gender neutral terms to describe generic roles and using images and examples that demonstrate gender balance and a wide range of diversity with respect to all demographics.
  • Act with kindness, compassion and understanding. Assume others are acting with a positive intent when unsure.
  • Take on constructive feedback to improve aspects of inclusivity for future training sessions and meetings.
  • Respect the privacy of meeting participants by using social media responsibly.

Trainers and Facilitators can expect SKAO organisers and meeting chairs to be champions for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, both by demonstrating behaviours in-line with the Code of Conduct for SKA Meetings and Events and by ensuring it is adhered to by all meeting participants – including the trainers and facilitators. If external trainers or facilitators perceive that any participant has behaved inappropriately, they should report that to a SKAO organiser, meeting chair or other staff member.

Unacceptable behaviour

  • Harassment and sexist, racist or exclusionary comments, jokes or imagery. Harassment, discrimination or offensive comments on the grounds of gender or sex, race, colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin, religion and belief, age, marital or civil partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, gender reassignment, disability, pregnancy or maternity, family or carers responsibilities or any other protected characteristic. Harassment includes sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, sexual attention or innuendo, deliberate intimidation, stalking, and photography or recording of an individual without consent.
  • Bullying, including unwelcome or unreasonable behaviour that demeans, intimidates, humiliates, or sabotages the work of people, either as individuals or as a group. Bullying behaviour is most often aggressive, persistent, and part of a pattern, but it can also occur as a single egregious incident. It is usually carried out by an individual but can also be an aspect of group behaviour.

Breaches of these guidelines

The SKAO is committed to work with external trainers and facilitators to ensure that content is as inclusive as possible and in-line with our values. In the case of minor breaches of these guidelines, trainers and facilitators are expected to be open to feedback, acknowledge the concerns raised with them, and to correct their behaviours immediately.

In the case of more serious breaches, including those related to bullying or harassment, trainers and facilitators may expect a formal report to SKAO which will then trigger the procedure outlined in the SKAO Code of Ethics above.

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Last modified on 12 December 2022