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Purpose

This Code of Conduct outlines our expectations for all those who participate in the Founder Institute, Incorporated (the “Company”) events or program sessions; as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior. The primary goal of the code of conduct is to create a welcoming, safe, respectful, and inclusive environment for people who share our values of tolerance and inclusivity for everyone that participates in a Company-sponsored event, program session, or activity.

To that end, we have adopted this code of conduct in order to support and welcome all members of our community, with a specific emphasis on marginalised groups. Our goal is to protect and include the rights and freedoms of people from every race, ethnic group, gender, or gender preference, sexuality, religion, ability, economic status, health status, and social preference. This includes people from marginalised racial or ethnic groups; women and people who identify as non-binary; people who identifiy as gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, and asexual; people with a disability; people who are neurodivergent; marginalised religious groups; higher weight people; parents and caregivers; and people who are of a lower economic status (Marginalised Groups).

We recognise that the power relationship between (a) Founders; and (b) Company Staff, Local Leaders, and Mentors is heavily weighted in favour of the latter, similar to the employer/employee or teacher/student relationship, even prior to their acceptance into a Founder Institute program. As such, we are especially aware of the potential for abuse or harm by the more powerful person. We encourage staff, Local Leaders, and Mentors to take into account this imbalance of power in all of their interactions with Founders and be especially careful to avoid using their power to coerce the founder, intentionally or unintentionally.

Scope

We expect everyone associated with the Founder Institute to abide by this code of conduct, including employees, contract workers, founders, Local Leaders, Mentors, investors, advisors, volunteers, speakers, vendors, customers, and attendees of our events. This code of conduct applies to all of these people in any setting associated with the Founder Institute, including offices, work events, social outings, conferences, homes, lodging, phone calls, video conferences, emails, chat, social media, blogs, or other online communication.

The Founder Institute may take action against a person based on other information or behavior outside the community if, in our judgement, there is an unacceptable risk to its membership from that person.

Unacceptable behaviors

Comments or behavior that discriminates against, stereotypes, or harms members of Marginalised Groups. This includes but is not limited to:

Creating a sexualised environment. This includes but is not limited to:

Sexual advances when they are clearly unwelcome, or in a context where it is difficult for the recipient to say no to your advances. 

Specifically, this code of conduct bans all sexual advances initiated by a person with significant power over the recipient, such as a person who influences program decisions towards a Founder within a program, a conference organiser towards a speaker, or a co-worker towards another co-worker if they have influence over their career advancement. We strongly recommend that people in positions of greater power turn down sexual advances from someone they hold significant power over. 

Sexual advances include but are not limited to:

Sexual assault or coercion, including sexual activity under pressure of threat, for a reward, or in a context where it is difficult for the recipient to say no. This includes but is not limited to:

Unwanted physical touch, restraint, assault, or threats. This includes but is not limited to:

Harassment, stalking, and inappropriate use of personal data or information. This includes but is not limited to:

Attempts to circumvent or weaken this code of conduct or its purpose. This includes but is not limited to:

Reporting and enforcement

If you are a witness or subject to unacceptable behavior or have any other concerns, please notify the Company as soon as possible. 

Employees, contract workers, vendors, customers or anyone else that does business with the Company who feels that they have been harassed or discriminated against, or who witnesses any harassment or discrimination by an employee, contract worker, vendor, customer or anyone else who does business with the Company, should immediately report such conduct to their supervisor, any other member of management or via email to filegal@fi.co. All complaints will be treated anonymously.

Do not allow an inappropriate situation to continue by not reporting it, regardless of who is creating the situation.  No employee, contract worker, vendor, customer or other person who does business with this organization is exempt from the prohibitions in this policy.  In response to every complaint, the Company will conduct an investigation and, if improper conduct is found, take appropriate corrective action. If the person who violated the code of conduct is within the FI Legal Team, they will recuse themselves from handling that report.

We aim to acknowledge reports within 2 business days, and to complete handling a report within 10 business days. Actions we may take in response to a report include:

If possible and appropriate, we will make a statement about the report and any actions we took available to everyone who is aware of the original incident. We strive to protect reporters or targets from retaliation whenever possible.