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This happens in a lot of organizations.

One that I think is most relevant is CUSID( Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate )

It was very much an organization which had a problem with women feeling pushed out, harassed, and uncomfortable. The result of that was that very few women were getting involved or staying involved.

In 2001 they decided to do something about it. They had a long discussion, and implemented a very strict policy about offensive conduct. You can see it here http://www.cusid.ca/documents/official-documents/cusid-code-...

The TL;DR; of it, is that every tournament is obligated to have an approachable "Equity Officer" as well as an anonymous way of submitting "Equity" complaints. These are comments on things that made someone uncomfortable, feel offended, or feel harassed. The equity officer then takes action, at their discretion, usually informing the offender that what they did was not cool, with no tangible punishment. Sometimes ignoring the complaint. Or in rare cases, taking drastic action against an individual.

Having been at the receiving end of two complaints, they take this policy very seriously. There is a very vocal group that believes that the policy is harmful, because it is too restrictive. There is another group that feels it is necessary and should get stronger. It is a political debate, and the two groups keep each other in check, at the current level.

The IMPORTANT result. In 2001, very few women were involved, particularly in upper levels of the community. This year, female involvement has risen to the point that fully half of the 32 finalists in the BP Nationals held two weeks ago, were female.

There are still issues, and a new discussion is being had on refinements to the policy. The point is that confronting the problem head on, did a lot of good. Particularly the point of having a formal way to complain and have the offensive parties made aware of the inappropriateness of their actions, and hold them accountable.




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