Speaker Diversity at our Conferences

SULSA is committed to promoting diversity at our conferences, whether it be gender diversity, diversity of thought, diversity of career stage, or diversity of religion, race, or (dis)ability. The following policy lays out the requirements set by SULSA which must be adhered to by SULSA and any appointed steering committee when planning such an event.


  1. Conference Steering Committee
  • The appointed steering committee must include a mix of both men and women, and a mix of seniority of researchers, including representatives from the majority of SULSA’s nine member institutions. Ideally the organising group and volunteers should be as diverse as the community we are striving to create.
  • The steering committee must be informed of (and agree to follow) SULSA’s commitment to speaker diversity before they begin the conference planning process.
  1. Identifying Conference Speakers and Session Chairs

  • The steering committee will work together with SULSA to produce a diverse speaker programme which will ensure a minimum of 40% female speakers in addition to representatives from all appropriate SULSA institutions (i.e. SULSA institutions that hosts speakers relevant to the conference topic).
  • SULSA is also committed to giving more junior researchers a platform for their research and would benefit from the exposure, and conference line-ups should include a mix of senior and more junior researchers.
  • SULSA is committed to presenting a diversity of thought at our conferences, and the steering committee should seek a representative, broad view of the conference topic.
  • Where a diversity of speakers is not successfully established, the steering committee must broaden their search and seek suggestions from out-with the steering committee.
  • Session chairs should also be comprised of an equal mix of men and women, and should include a variety of career stages.
  1. Support for Speakers at Conferences

  • SULSA will work with speakers who have primary childcare responsibility to support their childcare requirements where possible e.g. travel support for partners to attend.
  • If required, SULSA will book a private room for nursing mothers.
  • Where possible, SULSA will include the main content of their conference between the hours of 10am – 4pm to support caring requirements.
  1. Support for Attendees of Conferences
  • Where possible, SULSA will record or live stream conferences to be made available to those who cannot attend due to childcare commitments.
  • We will use social media to live-tweet the conference. Talks are tweetable and shareable by default, but speakers can ask that specific details or slides are not shared.
  • We will produce a conference report summarising the highlights from the conference and make this freely available.
  • SULSA will make every attempt to ensure its conferences are accessible, productive and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, nationality or religion.
Code of Conduct

SULSA is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all meeting participants and SULSA staff. All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, SULSA staff, service providers, and others are expected to abide by this SULSA Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct applies to all SULSA meeting-related events By attending any SULSA event, you agree voluntarily to abide by our code of conduct policy.

Authorship: All authors connected to a presentation and/or abstract must agree on all information contained in the presentation. Failure of an author to agree to the presentation format will lead to the presentation being withdrawn from the conference.  An author who submits a presentation to the Annual Meeting must have intentions of attending, registering, and presenting at the meeting once the submission is accepted into the program. Repeated or consecutive last-minute cancellations by presenters may result in future submissions being denied.

Photography: SULSA requests that attendees not take photographs or videos during sessions where a ‘No Camera’ image is shown on a presenter’s slide.  SULSA reserves the right to use photographs and videos taken and testimonials given during any SULSA event for informational and promotional purposes.

Harassment and Safety: SULSA is dedicated to providing a safe, hospitable, and productive environment for everyone attending our events, regardless of ethnicity, religion, disability, physical appearance, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. It is important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is neither healthy nor productive. Accordingly, SULSA prohibits intimidating, threatening, or harassing conduct during our conferences. This policy applies to speakers, staff, volunteers, and attendees. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference, at the discretion of SULSA leadership.

Harassment of conference participants will not be tolerated in any form. Harassment includes offensive gestures or verbal comments related to ethnicity, religion, disability, physical appearance, gender, or sexual orientation in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately.

Expected Behaviour:

  • Communicate openly with respect and consideration for others, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.
  • Avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, volunteers, exhibitors, staff and suppliers/ vendors.
  • Be mindful of our surroundings and your fellow participants. Alert staff if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the convention centre, hotels, contracted facility, or any other venue.
  • Turn off any ringers or otherwise disrupting devices during oral or poster sessions.

Unacceptable Behaviour:

It is important that our meeting be a place where no attendee or staff is ever belittled, criticised or made to feel unsafe. The following behaviour will not be tolerated:

  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form.
  • Physical, written, or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, staff member, service provider or other meeting guest.
  • Examples of unacceptable behaviour include, but are not limited to, verbal comments related 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, threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, staff member, service provider or other meeting guest.
  • Disruption of talks at oral or poster sessions, in the conference venue, or at other events organised by SULSA at the meeting venue, hotels, restaurants etc.

Reporting Unacceptable Behaviour:

  • If you are the subject of unacceptable behaviour or have witnessed any such behaviour, please immediately notify a SULSA staff member or SULSA volunteer in a leadership position (executive committee member or conference committee member).
  • Notification should be done by contacting a SULSA staff member on site or by emailing your concern to
  • Anyone experiencing or witnessing behaviour that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety is advised to contact 999 and locate a house phone and ask for security.
  • SULSA will work with convention centre/hotel/venue security and/or local law enforcement, and otherwise assist those experiencing harassment, to enable them to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance and want to make your experience as productive and professionally stimulating as possible.


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