Oregon Women in Higher Education (OWHE) is dedicated to providing an empowering experience for everyone who participates in our community. Because we respect the dignity of all of our members, value their safety and security, and strive to be an inclusive community, we do not tolerate harassment of members or event participants. This Code of Conduct defines the gender-affirming, difference-bridging, discomfort-embracing, vibrant and challenging but harassment‐free experience we work to create. We also outline the procedures for addressing issues within our community (online, at the conference, or at other events), should they arise. We recognize that the bar is high, as we aim for our community members to be excellent in themselves as well as to one another.

Gender Identity

The experiences of marginalized gender identies remain at the center of OWHE activities and events; this includes women-identifying, gender non-conforming, and gender minorities. Our goal is to elevate the visibility and leadership of our community in an industry where historically we have been underrepresented or invisibilized. Our community is multi-generational, multi-geographic, multi-racial, gender-diverse, and politically dynamic. We are respectful towards all members of our community and expect that respect to be returned.

Roles & Responsibilities of Allies/Accomplices

This community welcomes and challenges allies. We believe our work is more effective when we collaborate with allies. We accept all gender identities and expressions as full members of our community and at our events as long as they center the experiences of marginalized gender identities (discussed in the previous paragraph) and their actions fall within this OWHE Code of Conduct. We ask that all members reflect on their own social position re: class, language, body, legal status, etc. and be an ally to people more marginalized than they are.

Allyship is about actively reframing knowledge and actively changing power dynamics. Please engage these practices:

  1. Listen and learn, even when you feel confused or uncomfortable.

  2. Educate yourself instead of asking others to educate you.

  3. Don’t take credit for ideas originated by people on the front lines.

  4. Act like an ally when no one is watching.

  5. Acknowledge your privilege.

  6. Be resilient.

  7. Contribute resources: Time. Money. Visibility. Opportunity.

OWHE Spaces and Events

  1. Are a safer and respectful environment for all participants.

  2. Are a place where people are free to fully express their identities.

  3. Ask participants to presume that everyone’s ideas, skills, and contributions have value.

  4. Ask participants to learn new concepts from people who come from different contexts.

  5. Encourage participants to offer affirmative and augmenting “yes/and” responses.

  6. Encourage participants to actively solicit consent during interaction.

  7. Encourage members and participants to listen as much as we speak.

  8. Prioritize access for and input from those who have been excluded from leadership.

Demographic Data and Community Visibility

OWHE exists to promote and facilitate meaningful connection, personal growth, professional advancement, and systemic change for all Oregon women in higher education. 

Internally, we use demographic data about our community to understand and optimize the diversity of our programming and community. We highlight the analysis of feedback from historically underserved identities when strategic planning for the future. We share optional demographic data from our membership, including conference registration, at the annual conference. Publicly, we share demographic information from speaker bios, already-public profiles and blogs, recorded talks, and information shared for the purpose of public communication.

An individual may always opt out of disclosing their demographic data in the conference registration.

Photography, Video, and Social Media

It is our mission to promote visibility and leadership of women and gender-nonconforming people (and our allies) in higher education. We record photographically (and occasionally via video) and share these images online so we can achieve our purpose as an organization. 

Those who do not want to be photographed may excuse themselves from posed group photos and avoid the situations our photographers are recording: stages, microphones, tech demos, and audience Q&A. We also provide stickers to indicate preference for not being photographed. However, those who are highly concerned about being photographed at the conference may also approach photographers directly to communicate that. We aim to respect each person’s privacy while also representing our community, promoting our people, and showcasing the work that we do.

How We Define Harassment 

OWHE is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, skill set, physical appearance, body size, race, age, nationality, citizenship status, experience of colonization, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of volunteers (including board members), presenters, members, and participants. We set a high bar for cross-cultural understanding and welcome everyone to learn from interpersonal accidents as we cultivate understanding of one another’s experiences.

Harassment includes but is not limited to: dismissive or demeaning verbal, written, or pictorial communication; exhibition of graphic sexual images; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; “outing” someone (disclosing personal information) without their consent; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; persistent misgendering after pronouns are shared; gender binarism; biological essentialism; unwelcome sexual exhibition or attention; unwarranted exclusion; and patronizing language or action.

Reporting Harassment:

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact an OWHE organizer immediately at conference@owhe.org.You may also reach out to them in person, if you see an OWHE organizer nearby. 

If you cannot reach an organizer and/or it is an emergency, please call 911 and/or remove yourself from the situation.

You can also contact OWHE about harassment at owheboard@owhe.org and feel free to use the communication template below. 

How We Respond to Harassment 

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the event organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from OWHE events and spaces. OWHE organizers commit to responding as quickly as possible. 

OWHE organizers will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event.

OWHE Board members and volunteers acknowledge that we are not always in a position to evaluate a given situation at our conference or in our spaces. However, we are hopeful that by providing these guidelines we are establishing a community that jointly adheres to these values and can provide an environment that is welcoming to all.


Connect with Leaders

Networking with women, non-binary, and trans leaders in the state of Oregon will enhance your professional experience. We look forward to creating opportunities to meet, connect and develop together.

Engage in Professional Development

Participate in opportunities for professional growth through educational programs that are provided by our campus contact network right on your campus, in your region or at a state wide gathering. The focus is on providing you with the leadership skills and mentoring necessary to lead.

Lead Change in Higher Education

Higher education in the state of Oregon provides a dynamic environment where women, non-binary, and trans people can impact change. Whether in the community college, 4-year institution, public, or private, we want you to be a part of shaping the future of higher education by empowering and affirming your leadership abilities.