Code of Conduct

  1. Purpose
  2. Welcoming environment
  3. Expected Behavior
  4. Unacceptable Behavior
  5. Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior
  6. If You Witness or Are Subject to Unacceptable Behavior
  7. Scope
  8. Contact
  9. Trust Committee
  10. Credits


A primary goal of Rails Girls Summer of Code (RGSoC) is to be inclusive to all of our participants — students, coaches, mentors, sponsors, supervisors and everyone in the organizing team with the most varied and diverse backgrounds possible.

As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion (or lack thereof).

This Code of Conduct (CoC) outlines our expectations as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior.

The Code of Conduct pertains to all those who participate in our community online, at events, and in one-to-one communications carried out in the context of teamwork.

We invite all those who participate in Rails Girls Summer of Code to help us create a safe and positive experience for everyone.

Welcoming environment

We encourage community participants to create an open and welcoming environment by recognizing the relationship between our actions and their effects on our community.

Communities mirror the societies in which they exist, and positive action is essential to counteract the many forms of inequality and abuses of power that exist in society.

Expected Behavior

  • Participate in a supporting and active way: In doing so, you contribute to the health and longevity of this community
  • Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions
  • Attempt collaboration before conflict
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants
  • Alert the Trust Committee if you notice a dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of this Code of Conduct, even if they may seem inconsequential
  • Community event venues may be shared with members of the public; please be respectful to all patrons of these locations

Unacceptable Behavior

If you are unsure if something is appropriate behavior, it probably isn’t.

Each person you interact with can define where that line is for them and it is your responsibility to respect that line.

Impact matters more than intent. Ensuring that your behavior does not have a negative impact is your responsibility. Problems arise when we assume that our way of thinking or behaving is the norm or okay for everyone. This is particularly problematic when we are in a position of power or privilege.

Here are a few examples of unacceptable behavior:

  • Negative or offensive remarks related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental health condition, socioeconomic status or background, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, clothing, race, or religion. Calling attention to differences can feel alienating
  • Touching people without their affirmative consent
  • Sustained and negative disruption of meetings or talks
  • Patronizing, passive-aggressive, intimidating, condescending, or sarcastic language or behavior
  • Aggressive and micro-aggressive behavior, such as unconstructive criticism, providing corrections that do not improve the conversation (sometimes referred to as “well, actually”s), repeatedly interrupting or talking over someone else, feigning surprise at someone’s lack of knowledge or awareness about a topic, or subtle prejudice, for example, comments like “That’s so easy my grandmother could do it”
  • Referring to people in a way that misidentifies their gender and/or rejects the validity of their gender identity; for instance, by using incorrect pronouns or forms of address (misgendering)
  • Inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including presentation slides), deliberate intimidation, stalking or following, harassing photography or recording.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior from any community member, including sponsors and those with decision-making authority, will not be tolerated.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately. If a community member engages in unacceptable behavior, the community organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including a temporary ban or permanent expulsion from the community.

When unacceptable behavior is reported, the Rails Girls Summer of Code team will take action and send a written warning to the person who conducted the unacceptable behavior. If any further breaches of our Code of Conduct are reported, the person will be removed from the program immediately, without any further warning necessary.

If You Witness or Are Subject to Unacceptable Behavior

If you are subject to or witness unacceptable behavior, or have any other concerns, please notify a member of the RGSoC organiser team or Trust Committee as soon as possible.

Additionally, members of the Trust Committee are available to help community members engage with local law enforcement or to otherwise help those experiencing unacceptable behavior to feel safe. In the context of in-person events, organizers will also provide escorts as desired by the person experiencing distress.


We expect all community participants (contributors, paid or otherwise; sponsors; and other guests) to abide by this Code of Conduct in all community venues — online and in-person — as well as in all one-to-one communications during all activities related to Rails Girls Summer of Code.


To raise a concern or report a violation of this Code of Conduct, please report it to the RGSoC Organizer team by email to

Alternatively, you may prefer to contact a member of our Trust Committee.

Trust Committee

It is important that everyone in RGSoC teams feels safe and supported while participating in the program. Occasionally, a non-coding issue may occur that you don’t feel comfortable discussing with another member of your team or the RGSoC Organizers.

This is why we have a Trust Committee; a group of individuals not directly involved with the program who can draw upon a range of skills, experience, and backgrounds to help.

On an ad hoc basis, you may contact whichever Trust Committee member you feel most comfortable reaching out to. They will listen to your issue and act as a mediator.

The committee member will keep your issue anonymous (unless you agree otherwise, or in the rare situations it is beyond our control) and devote their time to helping you fix it. This covers everything from feeling uncomfortable with somebody, personal crises, or feeling bullied, misunderstood, discriminated against, disrespected, etc.


This Code of Conduct is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license and is based on the Citizen Code of Conduct as well as the 18F Code of Conduct.