Diversity and Inclusion Committee
LISA consortium’s code of conduct
The LISA Consortium is committed to fostering a safe, stimulating, and fully inclusive working environment, and it condemns any form of harassment, bullying, discrimination, and retaliation, as defined below. Every member of the LISA Consortium commits to engaging in constructive professional and social relationships, both within the Consortium and with the community at large, avoiding any kind of harassment, bullying, discrimination, and retaliation.
The LISA consortium adopts the definition of sexual harassment and other harassment of the Anti-Harassment Policy for Meetings and Activities of the American Astronomical Society and Divisions (https://aas.org/policies/anti-harassment-policy). In the following, we report their definition.
“Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Behavior and language that are welcome/acceptable to one person may be unwelcome/offensive to another. Consequently, individuals must use discretion to ensure that their words and actions communicate respect for others. This is especially important for those in positions of authority since individuals with lower rank or status may be reluctant to express their objections or discomfort regarding unwelcome behavior.
Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior that is not welcome, is personally offensive, debilitates morale, and therefore, interferes with work effectiveness. The following are examples of behavior that, when unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment: sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; verbal comments or physical actions of a sexual nature; sexually degrading words used to describe an individual; a display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; sexually explicit jokes; unnecessary touching.”
“Other Harassment. Harassment and bullying on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. This conduct includes, but is not limited to the following: epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts (in person or via e-mail); denigrating jokes and display or circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group. Even in cases where an individual victim cannot be identified, lewd, offensive, or inappropriate behavior may be construed as harassment and cannot be tolerated in a professional, collegial environment.”
“Discrimination refers to bias or prejudice resulting in denial of opportunity, or unfair treatment regarding selection, promotion, or transfer. Discrimination is practiced commonly on the grounds of age, disability, ethnicity, origin, political belief, race, religion, sex, etc. factors which are irrelevant to a person's competence or suitability.”
“Retaliation refers to taking some action to negatively impact another based on them reporting an act of discrimination or harassment.”
Diversity and Inclusion Committee
The Consortium Diversity and Inclusion Committee, appointed by the Board, is responsible for all matters pertaining to the core values stated in this Code of Conduct. In particular, the Committee is in charge of developing and administrating the structures and actions needed to realise a fully inclusive, safe, and stimulating working environment. In cases of alleged misconduct within the consortium, the Committee advises the LISA consortium Board, who is responsible for final decisions. The members of the Committee serve as Member Advocates available to any Consortium member as confidential resources on episodes of harassment, bullying, discrimination, and retaliation.
Investigations and responsive action
Any member of the LISA Consortium who believes that they may have been subjected to harassment, discrimination, or retaliation may contact the Member Advocates, either directly or by e-mailing the Committee at
diversity-core[at]lisamission.org. The concerned individual may, but is not required to, first discuss their concerns directly with the alleged offender. The Member Advocate serves as an independent and neutral resource to provide assistance to the concerned individual in exploring options for resolving the concerns at an informal level, as well as identifying relevant reporting options outside the Consortium.
The Member Advocate will maintain all information received from the concerned individual as confidential, and will only share it with others on a strict need-to-know basis after consulting with and receiving the agreement of the concerned individual. However, the Member Advocate may be required by law or institutional policy to report the conduct to the appropriate authority, in which case the concerned individual will be informed of this as soon as it is realised, allowing the individual to continue or not, at their own wish. The Member Advocate will inform the concerned individual of this obligation prior to obtaining any confidential information.
Certain types of reports may require additional investigation. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee will acquire, when possible, the outcome of institutional investigations or, where appropriate, will confidentially talk with all involved to collect more facts. All individuals affiliated with the Consortium are expected to cooperate with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and to share relevant information (in writing if necessarily) to the extent permitted by the law. If the investigation determines that a violation of the Code of Conduct has occurred, the Committee will recommend corrective measures to the Consortium Board, which might range from a confidential (board and recipient only) reprimand to suspension or termination of membership, and to the transmission of official reports to members’ home institutions.
Diversity and Inclusion Committee's members
- Elena M. Rossi (chair) –
- Alberto Sesana (co-chair) –
- Michele Vallisneri –
- Samaya Nissanke –
- Helvi Witek –
- Brittany Kamai –
- Martin Hewitson –