Anti-Harassment Policy for Events


The Innovate Summit, is committed to providing Innovate staff and all meeting participants a safe, productive, and welcoming environment free from harassment, where participants are treated with respect and dignity. All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, Innovate staff, service providers, and others, are expected to abide by this Anti-Harassment Policy. This Policy applies to all Innovate meeting-related events, including, but not limited to, conferences, Board of Director meetings, and workgroup meetings.

Innovate has a zero tolerance policy for harassment and retaliation and is committed to enforcing this policy at all Innovate events.

Code of Conduct for Events

Attendees, speakers, sponsors and staff are expected to conduct themselves with integrity and respect for others while participating in or conducting business during a Innovate virtual event. Specifically, participants will:

  • Behave in a professional and appropriate manner at all times during Innovate’s event
  • Respect the opinions of others, leaving personal prejudices out of all discussions
  • Refrain from any activity or action that could adversely reflect upon themselves, their organization or Innovate
  • Refrain from sharing log-in information, presentations or any conference materials with others; doing so could result in immediate ejection without refund
  • Comply with Innovate zero-tolerance policy for harassment and retaliation on and off virtual platforms (detailed below).

Anti-Harassment Policy

All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, Innovate staff, service providers, and others, are expected to abide by Innovate ’s Anti-Harassment Policy.

Prohibited Conduct

As a professional organization, Innovate is committed to diversity, equity, professional treatment of ideas, and respectful treatment of all members, attendees, volunteers, and employees at all Innovate events. Innovate seeks to provide a professional atmosphere in which diverse participants may learn, network, and participate in an environment of mutual respect. Conduct that is prohibited includes:

  • Harassment or intimidation based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by law.
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking, or unsolicited physical contact.
  • Harassment, intimidation, or coercion based upon a position as a board member, committee member or any position of influence.
  • Abusive, lewd, or threatening conduct.
  • Bullying, harassment or unprofessional conduct toward employees, volunteers, members, or other participants at Innovate events.
  • Physical violence or threats of violence.
  • Sexually charged communications or conduct.

Harassment Defined

Harassment on the basis of any protected characteristic is strictly prohibited.  Harassment includes verbal, written, or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual on the basis of any of the above list protected factors and that: (1) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment; or (2) has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s performance or ability to participate in Innovate events or activities; or (3) otherwise affects an individual’s ability to participate in Innovate events and activities.

Harassing conduct include epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts, denigrating jokes, offensive texts, and emails, as well as the application of any stereotypes or generalizations based on any of the prohibited grounds.

According to the EEOC, sexual harassment means any unwelcome conduct, comment, gesture, or contact of a sexual nature, whether on a one-time basis or in a continuous series of incidents that might reasonably be expected to offend or embarrass an individual. Sexual harassment also includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical unwelcome conduct.

Reporting Acts of Harassment or Retaliation

Innovate cannot take action to stop conduct if it does not know of the conduct. Innovate encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position.  Individuals who believe they have been the victim of such conduct should discuss their concerns with our legal department at In addition, Innovate encourages individuals to advise the offender that his or her conduct is unwelcome and to request that it be discontinued, if they feel comfortable so doing.

Innovate encourages the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that immediate action can be taken, if appropriate.  An individual making a complaint may be asked to put the complaint in writing.

If an individual witnesses or is the victim of prohibited conduct that requires immediate response by Innovate , the individual should contact the aforementioned employees.

In the event that an individual feels that his or her physical safety is in jeopardy, Innovate encourages the individual to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency to make a report.

Any reported allegations of harassment or retaliation will be investigated promptly. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved as well as witnesses to the conduct.

Innovate will maintain confidentiality to the extent consistent with appropriate investigation and corrective action.

If it is determined that an individual has engaged in prohibited conduct, Innovate shall determine the appropriate action to be taken, which may include, but is not limited to:

  • Expulsion from the Innovate event without warning or refund.
  • Implementation of conditions upon attendance at future Innovate events.
  • Removal of the individual as a Board or committee member.
  • Restriction from attendance at future Innovate events.
  • Restriction from speaking at future Innovate events.


Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment is a serious violation and is strictly prohibited.  Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly addressed.

Personal Safety and Security

Innovate works diligently to provide a safe and secure environment at its meetings and events by working with venue staff to make sure meeting participants are safe. We ask that all attendees report any questionable or concerning activity to Innovate staff so that they can take immediate action. If you have a concern, say something. Additionally, we recommend that you take precautions to stay safe, including the following:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Use the buddy system when walking to and from the event venue and networking event locations during early or late hours.
  • Don’t wear your meeting badge outside of event activities. Take it off as soon as you leave the building/venue.
  • Don’t carry a lot of cash or credit cards. Leave them in your hotel room safe.
  • Don’t leave personal property unattended anywhere, anytime.

If it is an emergency or if you need immediate assistance, you should ask any Innovate staff member or the on-site security personnel to help you.