Conferences, meetings and workshops are important elements of college life for academic and professional staff, and for students. When such events are organized by Research Forum of Govt. Islamia Graduate College Civil Lines Lahore, that should be considered an extension of the professional workplace or learning environment and should offer the same protections, opportunities and welcome to all participants.

We recognize that within academia there are many groups who are still under-represented among students and staff. One of the ways we can address this is to promote research at ICEST-GIGCCL Conferences. We believe this aspiration is fully consistent with the desire of conference organizers to invite the highest quality speakers and discussants in order to be able to offer the richest possible experience to attendees. We therefore expect the high standards of personal and professional conduct, and the commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

This policy document is divided into two parts: (a) a code of conduct and (b) guidance on how to incorporate considerations of equality, diversity and inclusion in conference planning and participation.

a) Code of Conduct

  1. To ensure a safe and inclusive environment, we require conference organizers to develop and publish a conference code of conduct that includes a strong anti-harassment statement.
  2. The code of conduct should be made available to participants in advance of registration or as part of any invitation to participate. It should be made clear that participation is dependent on agreeing to abide by the code of conduct.
  3. Use of the code of conduct in different circumstances:
  4. For conferences organized by Research Forum and physics department and students and hosted on a College campus, the code of conduct above should be adopted in full.
  5. For externally organized conferences hosted in collaboration with College on a College campus, we expect the organizers to have a code of conduct that is in line with the College code. If it does not, it should adopt the College’s code.
  6. For events organized by external organizations who are simply using our facilities (and have been instructed in their contracts not to use the College branding or logo), it is not feasible to ask for adherence to this code of conduct. However, we would share the policy with them, explain that it reflects our values as an organization and expect them to operate to a similar standard.
  7. For conferences not held on College premises, but where College staff and students are involved as organizers (e.g. as members of a learned society), we would expect them to draw attention to the benefits of having a code of conduct and to offer the College template as the basis for creating one. Conferences without a code of conduct that is in line with the College code will not be permitted to use the College logo or to claim to be supported by the college.

b) Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Regularly gather and report the data on how well the policy is achieving its aims. Some data-gathering on the demographics of the participants may be necessary to inform the initial aims of the policy and regular reviews. Initial targets may well vary by field, but is it important to consider setting stretching targets for speaker diversity in order to foster change and provide role models for younger attendees.

Make the policy visible and responsive

Publish the policy well in advance on the conference web-site (or on the web-site of the organization responsible; e.g. the relevant learned society). Explain its purpose and invite feedback. If possible, set aside time at the conference to discuss the policy.

Offer free attendance for the careers of disabled attendees who require one

Ensure all facilities are fully accessible (and equipped with accessible toilets); make sure venue maps are well-signed

Provide a quiet room with a video-link for those who prefer not to be in crowded spaces.

Provide creche facilities and a family room to allow participants with children to follow proceedings by video-link.

Offer reduced fees to those who can only attend for part of the meeting

Be mindful that long conferences or workshops that require minimum attendance (e.g. two weeks) may present difficulties for those with caring commitments.

Offer financial support for those with caring responsibilities (e.g. to pay for child-care)

Consider travel times, and start and finish times of sessions for those who may be attending with children

Establish a balanced and informed program committee to ensure that it can take a broad view of potential invited speakers. Offer diversity or unconscious bias training to the committee.

Develop a speaker policy

State what the conference organizers want to achieve in terms of diversity (e.g. a gender balance that reflects that of its audience; geographical representation; ethnicity; seniority; discipline/sub-discipline; disability).

The size and range of formats of conferences, workshops and meetings can vary enormously, as can the resources available to organizers and the practical constraints (e.g. available facilities) under which they operate. The particular challenges of promoting equality, diversity and inclusion can also differ depending on the disciplinary coverage of the meeting.

The guidance below offers examples of good practice which we would expect to be considered by members of Imperial College who are involved in conference organization.

We wish to encourage organizers to be as ambitious as possible and will seek to recognize examples of innovative practice. Be accessible and family-friendly – support parents and careers at meetings and disabled attendees.

Where possible:

The policy should be used by all members of the College community who are involved in organizing conferences, meetings or workshops. It applies to events held inside and outside the college. Given the range of scales and formats of such events, it is not possible to produce a policy that covers every type of meeting or set of logistical and financial constraints. However, the aim of the policy is to make sure that the most important aspects with regard to conduct and equality, diversity and inclusion feature prominently in the plans of organizers.

Policy on conferences organized by Research Forum Physics department staff and students, or conferences held on College premises.