The SWE Annual Conference and Career Fair is a place where women, non-binary folks, and men, as allies of all backgrounds, can support the overall persistence and success for the engineering and technology profession of those underrepresented in the field. Those who think otherwise should reconsider attending.
In response to the harassment, disrespect, and blatant disregard for behaviors that value diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at recent diversity serving career fairs, SWE is outlining both expectations for attendees as well as steps SWE is taking to promote a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all at its WE23 event in Los Angeles, CA from October 26-28, 2023.
SWE stands in solidarity with all of our fellow diversity serving organizations that oppose any and all forms of harassment and discrimination. SWE’s Annual Conference & Career Fair brings organizations seeking diverse talent. While all are welcomed at SWE as members and attendees, SWE expects everyone, and especially men, to act as allies for one another. You can read more from SWE about how men can be allies here, here and here.
We strongly encourage all attendees to read the below. If an attendee does not feel they can uphold our standards, we will issue a refund to them for their conference participation. Refunds must note a disagreement with our policies and be requested by October 15, 2023, and must be submitted to SWE@xpressreg.net.
Expectations for Attendees at WE23:
SWE has the following expectations for all attendees, guests, and exhibitors at our WE23 Annual Conference & Career Fair:
- Adherence to Rules & Regulations and Mindfulness of Core Values: All attendees must adhere to expectations set forth in our WE23 Rules & Regulations and be mindful of demonstrating our core values (integrity, inclusive environment, mutual support, professional excellence, and trust). WE23 Rules & Regulations are agreed to by all attendees during registration. Specifically, attendees should be familiar with the WE23 Code of Conduct (provided at length below) and our zero-tolerance policy for harassment and unacceptable behavior.
- Clear Expectations for WE23 Exhibiting Organizations: SWE is sharing this information, along with specific expectations that pertain to exhibiting organizations, with all exhibitors. All exhibitors must adhere to our WE23 Rules & Regulations and may be subject to removal from the floor if they fail to comply. SWE is working with high-traffic organizations to put crowd control measurements in place and is outlining concrete steps for how to create a safe space around their exhibitor booth.
- Demonstrate zero tolerance for harassment: For WE23, all attendees and exhibitors should be aware that harassment includes but is not limited to: cutting in line, interrupting conversations between an exhibitor and attendee, pushing, shoving, and any and all unwanted physical contact of any form. As is noted in our Rules & Regulations, SWE reserves the right to remove any and all individuals who do not adhere to our expectations.
SWE’s Preventative Measures to Deter Harassment and Unacceptable Behavior at WE23:
While we want to ensure our attendees and exhibiting partners have clear expectations of how to interact appropriately to uphold our code of conduct and core values, we also want to outline measures SWE will take as an organization to put power in the hands of those experiencing harassment or negative behavior and what we will do in response.
- Rapid reporting system for attendees of harassment and unacceptable behavior: Attendees who experience or witness unwanted harassment or unacceptable behavior should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Reports must include the badge number of the individual reporting the matter so SWE can verify them; no one who reports an incident will be identified without their consent. Attendees are encouraged to document this with photos, videos, or badge numbers of those committing unwanted behavior (if they are safely able to do so) and include the booth name or number where the incident occurred. Reports can and should be made even if the reportee only feels safe to do so. Two senior level SWE staff will be entirely focused on monitoring reports to this email and will coordinate with onsite staff and security to rapidly address issues to the best of our ability. Attendees may also report unwanted behavior or harassment directly to onsite security personnel, but we realize this may force the reporter to leave the career fair floor and may not be the most accessible escalation point for all.
- Right to remove individual attendees from the WE23 Career Fair floor and/or Annual Conference for harassment and unacceptable behavior: In the past, SWE has removed individuals who have not abided by our code of conduct and banned them from our events, and we will do so again if needed.
- As stated in our code of conduct: SWE reserves the right to take any necessary or appropriate action, including immediate removal from the conference, without warning or refund, in response to any incident of unacceptable behavior. SWE reserves the right to prohibit attendance at any future events, whether virtually or in person.
- Reporting harassment and unacceptable behavior of exhibiting organizations: As SWE has done in the past, if there are reports of employees at exhibiting organizations conducting or allowing harassment and unacceptable behavior, SWE will make a report to that organization. This may result in an exhibitor being removed from the floor and notice given to their employer for a fuller investigation. If a significant amount of reports come in to email@example.com reporting incidents at a particular booth in real time, SWE may escalate security to the booth in question. In addition, after the event concludes, SWE will proactively take additional steps to review patterns of disregard shown by exhibitors to the code of conduct in our Rules & Regulations.
SWE’s Steps to Promote Safety and Crowd Control Management at WE23:
In addition to setting expectations, clearly communicating how to report issues of harassment and how SWE will respond, below are steps we are taking from a event design approach to address issues of safety and crowd control:
- Extra Space Between Booths: Since returning to in-person events post COVID-19, SWE has increased the space between its booths. For WE23, SWE has maintained this practice and has placed high-profile booths in areas where there is extra space.
- Crowd Control Management: SWE will employ the use of rope and stanchions at the beginning of the career fair and at key points throughout the career fair floor to enforce access control for popular booths.
- Limits on Attendees: SWE is now capping the number of collegiate attendees who can register for WE23 to under 7,000 to ensure wait time entering the career fair is as minimal as possible.
- Easy access to upload your resume to our Career Center: For those attending WE23 virtually or onsite, you may upload your resume and tag that you are attending WE23 so that WE23 exhibitors (all of whom have access to our Career Center) can find your resume and set up virtual or in-person interviews. Download the steps to upload your resume and tag WE23 here.
- Misuse of Discount Codes: A number of individuals shared codes that were designed for low and middle income individuals to register and attend WE23. We’ve retracted the use of these codes and are requiring anyone who inappropriately used the code to register at the full rate (while spots last).
- General Security: In addition to security throughout the convention center, SWE will also require all those entering the Los Angeles Convention Center to be subject to metal detectors and bag checks. As it did with WE22, to increase the overall security of all attendees, partners, and guests, at WE23 SWE will ban firearms or weapons of any kind from entering the Los Angeles Convention Center for the duration of the event. During this time, all doors to the Center will be locked, and entry will only be permitted through designated entrances. There will be four entrances for the WE23 Annual Conference. These four entrances will have metal detectors that attendees/exhibitors/groups must enter through. Read more here.
- Career Fair Floor Prioritizes Members: As it has for a number of years, our career fair floor puts priority first to our members. The hours are below:
Career Fair Hours
Thursday, October 26
- 2:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M. — Professional and Collegiate Members
- 5:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. — All registrants
Friday, October 27
- 10:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M. — Professionals only — members and non-members
- 11:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. — Professional and Collegiate members only
- 2:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. — All registrants
WE23 Code of Conduct
By registering, the in-person and/or virtual attendee agrees and acknowledges that they are undertaking participation in SWE’s Annual Conference, WE23, and adhering to the WE23 Code of Conduct (“Code”). SWE is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all WE23 participants and SWE staff. All participants, including but not limited to attendees, speakers, volunteers, sponsors, SWE staff members, service providers, and others, are expected to abide by this Code. This Code applies to all SWE events in public facilities or hotels and on public or private platforms. SWE has a zero-tolerance policy for any form of discrimination or harassment, including but not limited to sexual harassment by participants or our staff at our events. Please report harassment or unacceptable behavior to firstname.lastname@example.org so that appropriate action can be taken.
- Unacceptable behavior is defined as harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form; verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, sponsor, SWE staff member, service provider, or other conference guests. Examples of verbal abuse include, but are not limited to, verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, or national origin; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or presentations; or threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, sponsor, SWE staff member, service provider or other conference guests.
- Further unacceptable behavior includes disruption of presentations during sessions or at other events organized by SWE during the virtual meeting. All participants must comply with the instructions of the moderator and any SWE virtual event staff. SWE reserves the right to take any necessary or appropriate action, including immediate removal from the conference, without warning or refund, in response to any incident of unacceptable behavior. SWE reserves the right to prohibit attendance at any future events, whether virtually or in person. If you have questions about these guidelines, please contact the SWE staff.