• WoSEC Code of Conduct

    Women of Security is committed to providing a safe environment for our chapter leaders, members and guests. This code of conduct is our first step towards making this happen. However, we also know that there are times that we will not get things right. Help us make things better by letting us know when you see a problem. You can reach out to your Chapter Leader or send an email to the WoSEC Board of Directors.


    WoSEC is committed to providing a safe, productive and welcoming environment for all our Leaders, Members, Sister Organizations, Participants and Guests. All Participants, including but not limited to Attendees, Speakers, Volunteers, Exhibitors, Service Providers, and others, are expected to abide by the WoSEC Code. This Code applies to all interactions – whether they be virtual, by telephone, in-person or in writing.


    This Code may be revised by WoSEC Leaders at any time and the terms are non-negotiable. Updates will be posted to the WoSEC website. Your attendance or participation in WoSEC or WoSEC activities indicates your agreement to abide by this Code and its terms.

    We agree that all we do in connection with our WoSEC work is, and will be, measured against the highest possible standards of ethical business conduct.

    Who Must Follow Our Code?

    • All WoSEC Leaders, WoSEC Members, and WoSEC event and activity Participants. 
    • Any individuals or organizations that WoSEC works with, whether it be in a sponsorship, speaker, vendor or any other capacity.

    When Must We Follow Our Code?

    • During all WoSEC events and activities.
    • In all written or oral correspondence with or on behalf of WoSEC (for example, Member to Member, Leader to Member, Leader to Leader, newsletters, Meetup invites, emails to arrange events, and so forth).
    • On all WoSEC communication channels, including the WoSEC Twitter account, Slack Channels, LinkedIn, Meetup, etc. This includes responses to less-than-ideal online messages; we will not respond with words of hatred or other inappropriate language/behaviour. 
    • When working with other WoSEC Leaders, Members or Participants.
    • WoSEC Members who are attending 3rd party (non-WoSEC) events as a group (a group is defined as two or more people), or "crashing" events, must obey not only the WoSEC Code but also the Code of Conduct for the events they are attending.
    • If after a WoSEC event, as a group, the Participant moves onto another event, although the Code is no longer enforceable, we encourage the Participant to continue to follow it.
    • When in doubt, if it has to do with WoSEC, please follow the Code.

    Special Rule Only for Mentors and Mentees

    • No dating (this is to avoid predatory behaviour due to a power imbalance).

    Privacy and Confidentiality

    • WoSEC Leaders and Members are entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy and confidentiality. This means that women have the right to assume that their names, the stories they share, and any other personal details will be kept private.
    • WoSEC Leaders cannot sell, or otherwise share the contact information of the Members, with a 3rd Party without the express permission of its Members.
    • Leaders and Members may occasionally give presentations to the Members and may provide the material to the Members for their personal use. This material is solely owned by the Presenter and cannot be distributed to anyone outside of the WoSEC Membership nor can it be used outside of a WoSEC event or context.

    Expected Behaviour

    • All Participants are to be treated with respect and consideration, with a diversity of views and opinions being valued. 
    • Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.
    • Communicate openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
    • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory or harassing behaviour and speech.
    • When meeting in person, respect the rules and policies of the venue.
    • If badges are being worn in a public venue as a means to identify Participants, wear your badge at all times while at the event or event venues.
    • Call out any inappropriate behaviour. Do not empower bullying or harassment by silence.

    Inappropriate Behaviour

    The following behaviour will not be tolerated:

    • Bullying, harassment, intimidation or discrimination in any form. 
    • Physical or verbal abuse of any Attendee, Guest, Participant, Speaker, Volunteer, Exhibitor, Leader or Member.
    • Inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images or sexual language in public spaces (including presentation slides), and/or social media or other correspondence.
    • Any boisterous, lewd or offensive behaviour or language including, but not limited to, sexually explicit or offensive language or conduct, profanity, obscene gestures, or racial, religious or ethnic slurs. 
    • Possession of a weapon, or any item that can be used as a weapon, at any WoSEC event, which may be used to threaten or cause injury to others if used in a certain manner. 
    • Any destruction or vandalising of personal property, event site or materials. 
    • Possessing any illegal substance. 
    • Assembling for the purpose of, or resulting in, disturbing the peace, or committing any unlawful act or engaging in any offensive behaviour.
    • Any other illegal activity not already covered above. 
    • Failing to obey any of the rules or regulations of the event venues or instructions of Leaders. 
    • Sharing your event badge with other individuals. 
    • Insulting others, especially if they have been brave and asked a question or shared something personal. 
    • Examples of inappropriate behaviour include, but are not limited to: unwelcome verbal comments relating to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, harassing photography or recordings, offensive email, voicemail messages, social media postings, deliberate threatening or stalking any Attendee, Speaker, Volunteer, Exhibitor, Staff Member, Service Provider, or other Guest. 
    • Making recordings, without consent of all parties, of any event, presentation, or conversation. 


    • Anyone requested to stop inappropriate behaviour is expected to comply immediately. 
    • Leaders (or their Designee) will explain the problem to the Offender so that they are aware of the issue and do not repeat the behaviour.


    • In a public forum, Leaders (or their Designee) or Security may instruct the Offender to leave the event without warning or refund. If the Offender refuses to leave the Authorities will be called.
    • In a virtual forum, the Participant may be removed from the forum and be prohibited from returning. 
    • If damage to personal property or of the event property occurs, the Offender will be held financially responsible.
    • If, despite warnings, the behaviour is repeated or violent and/or heinous behaviour results; after three or more WoSEC Leaders have agreed, the Offender may be banned from participating in future WoSEC activities for a period of time determined by these three WoSEC Leaders, or may be permanently banned.

    Reporting Inappropriate Behaviour

    • If you experience or witness a threat to public safety In a public forum, please contact your local Authorities.
    • If you have a complaint or concern about harassment, discrimination, bullying or any other conduct at a WoSEC event or activity that violates this Code, we encourage you to immediately notify your WoSEC Leader via your local WoSEC Meetup.
    • If a WoSEC leader is an offender, please report this to a different Leader by contacting the Leader on another WoSEC Meetup or via our website.
    • If you wish to remain anonymous, please report the issue via our website, using the Contact Us form. If you wish to remain anonymous, fill out fake information, it's okay.

    If an issue arises at any point during a WoSEC event, please let us know. We will take your complaint seriously and we will listen. If you do not feel comfortable reporting an incident at the time that it takes place, reporting it later is always acceptable and encouraged. Please help us make WoSEC fun, safe and inclusive by informing us of issues we may have missed.

    WoSEC Leaders Supplementary Code


    As Leaders, we must always strive to be the best examples for our Members. This includes showing kindness to others, welcoming new Members, encouraging and perhaps even mentoring others, connecting people with one another and doing our best to make our community the one we've always dreamed of being a part of.

    Expected Behaviour

    • At no time shall we stand by in the face of harassment, bullying or other inappropriate behaviours within WoSEC. It is our duty as Leaders in our community to do everything we can to prevent this from occurring and to stop it if we know it is happening. 
    • We must always act with integrity. If we know or suspect that we are (or potentially will be) in a conflict of interest, we must inform at least two other Leaders, to discuss the issue and ensure it is rectified or managed appropriately. 
    • Only use the WoSEC brand to promote women in cyber and security and other women-positive topics (this includes non-binary folks). Our brand is NOT to be used to sell products. Although you may cheer women on who are doing great things, we cannot appear biased in our promotion towards companies or products.

    Privacy and Confidentiality and Your Obligations as a Leader

    • If we are told sensitive information (by another Leader or Member), we will treat that information as confidential, unless told that we are allowed to share it. 
    • If a very serious issue arises (violence between members, for instance), the Authorities will be called immediately. It may be your duty to call the Authorities. We need you to be brave if something happens, and ensure our Members are safe. This does not mean taking physical action yourself. It does mean calling the Authorities.
    • If you have Volunteers helping you with an event, ensure they have read this Code and agreed to follow it prior to representing WoSEC in any capacity. 

    Should a member of the WoSEC community report an incident to you;

    • Treat the information as CONFIDENTIAL
    • Keep a record of the name of the person(s) who was harassed, the person(s) they were harassed by, the names of any witnesses (or their descriptions if their names are unknown), the date and time(s) that it was reported to you, the date and time (approximately) that the incident occurred, the details of the incident, and any other information that be helpful. Keep the record in a safe and secure location where only you have access to it.
    • If YOU feel unsafe, call the authorities or security. Your safety matters equally to the person reporting the issue. 


    If a WoSEC Leader does not adhere to this Code, potential consequences include: being nicely asked not to do it again, discussions about the issue and guidelines for ensuring nothing like this happens again, imposition of rules (such as "you can't use that sponsor anymore because XYZ"), and, at worst, expulsion from the WoSEC organisation. Expulsion is the last resort and would require a vote by the Board of Directors. By talking things out we can, hopefully, avoid this worst-case scenario.

WoSEC doesn’t WANT to use cookies or trackers of any kind, however, the CMS we are using contains trackers. We are currently working with our website hosting provider to disable them and we will update our policy once we have had them removed. We will never share your information with third parties.

The only information WE collect on this site is your email address and name (feel free to use a fake name) which you voluntarily submit to us when you sign up to receive our newsletter. If you do not wish to use your real email address, perhaps you might consider creating a ‘throw-away’ email address or use one of the many free sites that provide an email alias to obscure your real one? If you want to remain anonymous, we respect your decision.

This privacy policy is modelled after DuckDuckGo’s. WoSEC suggests that you consider using DuckDuckGo as your browser of choice for a privacy-assured web experience.

June, 2020