WEF is committed to providing a professional, safe, and welcoming environment during its in-person and virtual events for all water professionals and their guests. WEF expects all attendees, exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, media, and other participants to uphold our commitment to diversity and inclusion by helping us provide a positive conference environment for everyone.

Code of Conduct

You agree to treat all individuals with respect and create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment. You will value a diversity of views and opinions by communicating openly with respect for others. You shall not verbally abuse any individual. You shall not discriminate, harass, or intimidate on the basis of gender, race, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, physical appearance, age, religion, national origin, veteran status, citizenship, or professional rank.

Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately. WEF management may take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, including removal from the event (and any remaining portions thereof) without warning and without refund of registration fee.

Additionally, if you are a WEF Member, you agree to uphold the WEF Member Code of Conduct while attending WEF Events.

Following a Code of Conduct allows WEF to create the best experience possible for all attendees.

Expected behavior:

  • 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 WEF staff if you notice a dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of this Code of Conduct, even if they seem inconsequential.

Unacceptable Behavior:

  • Harassment and discrimination include any verbal, physical, or visual conduct based on sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, transgender status, race, age, national origin, or disability;
  • Inappropriate display, sharing or use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including presentation slides);
  • Any physical or verbal intimidation, stalking or following of attendee(s); • Harassing, photographing or recording of attendee(s);
  • Sustained disruption of sessions, talks or other events;
  • Inappropriate physical contact, and any unwelcome sexual attention (physical or verbal); and
  • Any boisterous, lewd or offensive behavior or language, threatening, intimidation, coercion, use of sexually explicit or offensive language or conduct, profanity, obscene gestures, or racial, religious or ethnic slurs.

This Code of Conduct provides general guidelines and cannot cover every possible type of unacceptable behavior. Additional information relating to the WEF Member Code of Conduct is available on the WEF Policies page. The WEF Member Code of Conduct also governs conduct of WEF members at WEFTEC.

In the event a matter must be addressed immediately, you may contact either the conference Ombuds or email the WEF executive director at executivedirector@wef.org

Differences of Opinion and Offense

To achieve the purposes of a event in the limited time provided, with the universal benefit of all participants’ being fully engaged, discussions should be focused on the meeting topic at hand. All participants must be able and welcome to equitably and effectively participate.  It is not a violation of these Terms and Conditions to express an opinion, raise research or describe an experience (“articulation”) that is at odds with the opinions of or is offensive to others—if the articulation is part of an on-point discussion of the Event topic at hand and is offered in a manner that does not interfere with others’ reasonable ability and welcome to participate fully. That means expressing differing positions with respect and consideration for all, in a manner that reflects intellectual rigor and is demonstrably mindful of minimizing, as reasonably possible, its potential adverse effect on others’ ability to participate.  (Offering an advance warning of the potential for impact on others is one way to demonstrate such respect and consideration for all.) It also means not making an articulation that is reasonably expected to cause offense gratuitously (i.e., unrelated or unnecessary for the work on that topic). It means not directing the articulation as a personal attack or put-down of an individual, and not dominating the discussion. It further means demonstrating consideration for anyone who appears to be in distress by promptly stopping the cause and demonstrating caring, while still pursuing a way to share pertinent information, with the WEF moderator’s assistance if needed.

Conference Ombuds Services

WEF is pleased to announce that it will introduce an Ombuds resource for meeting participants at WEFTEC 2023, Sept. 30-Oct. 4, in Chicago.

The Conference Ombuds serves as a neutral, independent, off-the-record resource available on-site to hear concerns confidentially. The Ombuds can assist with identifying options and resources to address conflicts or issues such as harassment, discrimination, or any violation of WEF’s Member Code of Conduct and Conference Code of Conduct. This new resource is available to all attendees, staff, exhibitors and anyone participating in WEFTEC.


Download WEF's official policies to learn more

Non-discrimination and Harassment

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion