Code of Conduct

Purpose

This is the code of conduct for Tribe Global Ventures. 

Our goal is to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for people who share our values of tolerance and inclusivity. To that end, we have adopted this code of conduct (sourced from Blackbird Ventures) in order to support and welcome members of marginalised groups to our community, including people from marginalised racial or ethnic groups, women and non-binary people, sexual minorities including gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, and asexual people, disabled people with disabilities, neurodivergent people, marginalised religious groups, higher weight people, parents and caregivers, and members of lower status (Marginalised Groups).

We are committed to fostering an environment where everyone feels respected, valued and included, and where individuals are enabled to achieve success.

Scope

We expect everyone associated with Tribe Global Ventures to abide by this code of conduct, including directors, venture partners, employees, founders, funders, investors, mentors, advisors, students, volunteers, speakers, and attendees of our events. This code of conduct applies to all of these people in any setting associated with Tribe Global Ventures, including offices, work events, social outings, conferences, homes, lodging, phone calls, video conferences, emails, chat, social media, blogs, or other online communication. Tribe Global Ventures may take action against a person based on other information or behaviour outside the community if, in our judgement, there is an unacceptable risk to its membership from that person.

Unacceptable Behaviours

We consider unacceptable behaviours to include:

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

  • Disparaging remarks about marginalised racial or ethnic groups
  • Racial or ethnic slurs
  • Misogynist or sexist comments
  • Homophobic or transphobic comments or slurs
  • Deliberate misgendering (e.g., using different pronouns than requested)
  • Deliberate use of names people have asked others not to use
  • Negative comments about body size or shape
  • Discriminating against pregnant people or mothers
  • Discriminatory comments against members of marginalised religions as a group
  • Negative comments or discriminating based on age or family role
  • Speaking over or disbelieving the lived experiences of marginalised groups

 

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

  • Sexual or sexually suggestive comments, jokes, insults, metaphors, etc.
  • Discussing the sexual attractiveness or exploits of yourself or others, even if intended to be a compliment
  • Unsolicited comments on someone’s body to them or to others, even if intended to be a compliment
  • Unsolicited comments on someone’s self-presentation (dress, shoes, makeup, hair) that are sexually suggestive
  • Detailed discussion of sexual preferences or activities (i.e., mentioning the gender or existence of your partner(s) is fine, discussing sexual preferences in hair colour or body shape or type of sexual activity is not)
  • Displaying sexual images where others can see them, including your personal computing devices if others might be able see their screen
  • Viewing or discussing sexually explicit or arousing content
  • Patronising or discussing personal patronisation of sex workers (use caution and judgement when discussing sex workers or sex work in other contexts)
  • Meeting in sexualised environments (e.g., strip clubs, dance clubs, pick-up bars)
  • Organising business-related activities which require less or no clothing (e.g., meeting in hot tubs or saunas, throwing company pool parties)
  • Creating an environment where people feel pressured to flirt, allow touch, dress in a sexualised manner, or otherwise engage in sexual or sexualised activity (e.g. in order to maintain access to networks or funding)
  • Requesting others to keep your sexual activity secret or help cover it up
  • 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 funding decisions towards a person seeking funding, a conference organiser towards a speaker, or a coworker towards another coworker 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.

 

3. Sexual advances include but are not limited to:

  • Invitations to meet one-on-one in a situation not suited for business or for mainly non-business purposes (e.g., meeting at a bar with loud music and dim lighting, meeting and talking about business for 5 minutes, then asking personal questions)
  • Invitations to meet one-on-one in a private space such as a hotel room, home, apartment, home office, or an office when no one else is likely to be present
  • Showing up uninvited to someone else’s private space, such as their hotel room, their home, apartment, and home office
  • Making sexual comments, in person or by sending text messages, emails, voice messages, letters, or other form of communication
  • Sending sexual photos or videos or sounds, of yourself or others
  • Unsolicited questions about someone’s marital or relationship status or sexual preferences, directly or indirectly (e.g., “do you have kids,” “will your boyfriend be going to the party,” “do you like girls”)
  • Unsolicited sharing of intimate information (e.g., “my wife and I barely have sex,” “don’t have kids, it kills your sex life”)
  • Implying sexual availability (e.g., “my wife will be out of town,” “I get lonely in my hotel room”)
  • Sexually themed gifts
  • Unsolicited private messages on social networks (if you must send a private message, ask publicly first if you may send a private message)
  • Significant non-consensual escalations of intimacy without a business purpose (e.g., after receiving a group business email, replying to just one person to ask a personal question not directly related to business)
 

4. Sexual assault or coercion, including sexual activity under pressure or 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:

  • Any sexual activity or touch without the express consent of all participants
  • Implicitly or explicitly requesting sexual activity in exchange for reward including funding, referrals, future employment, promotion, or invitation to exclusive events
  • Retaliating, threatening to retaliate, or implying retaliation against someone for refusing sexual advances (e.g. defaming, firing, withholding promotion, blocking interviews, giving negative reviews, or blocking funding)
  • Beginning a sexual relationship with someone you have significant power over
  • Non-consensual sexual activity of any kind, including with people you know or suspect to be underage, trafficked, forced, coerced, threatened, unconscious, mentally impaired, or unable to say no easily for whatever reason
  • Creating an environment where people feel pressured to use drugs or alcohol, such as refilling someone’s drink when they aren’t looking, pressuring people to use drugs or drink more, engaging in drinking games, asking why people aren’t drinking or using drugs, withholding rewards if people don’t drink or use drugs
  • Giving anyone any drug (including alcohol) without their fully informed consent (exception for medical personnel or life-threatening emergencies)
  • Deliberately exposing one’s genitals without consent of all viewers
  • Engaging in sexual activity when you know that other non-consenting people can see or clearly hear it
  • Using threats to reveal sexual activity, information, or photos to control someone

 

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

  • Deliberate touch that is inappropriate for a business relationship (e.g. intentionally brushing up against someone, touching someone to get their attention unnecessarily, caressing someone’s face)
  • Physical violence, threats of physical violence, or incitement of physical violence towards any individual or marginalised group
  • Encouraging self-harm
  • Physically pinning or trapping people (e.g., standing so that someone can’t get out from behind a desk, pinning someone to the wall, or standing in a doorway and refusing to move)
  • Not allowing a person to leave a room, vehicle, seat, or other space, except in an emergency or to prevent greater harm

 

6. Harassment and stalking. Harassment and stalking includes but is not limited to:

  • Seeking out and/or publishing private information without consent such as previous names, home address, or names of family members (“doxxing”)
  • Staring, leering, following without consent
  • Photography or video or sound recording of someone that is done to make someone feel surveilled, or surreptitiously, or when there is an expectation of privacy, or when the subject has explicitly asked to not be photographed or recorded (we highly recommend asking for consent for all recording)
  • Continued contact after a request to stop contact, even if for some positive purpose such as apologising or making amends
  • Encouraging or enabling harassment by others

 

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

  • Advocating for or supporting any unacceptable behaviour
  • Minimising, excusing, or defending any unacceptable behaviour (e.g. rape apology, blaming the victim, tone policing of victims)
  • Prioritising the comfort of privileged people over the safety of marginalised groups
  • Advocating for or supporting the oppression of marginalised groups
  • Criticising targets of oppression for having an inappropriate emotional state in response to an unacceptable behaviour (tone policing)
  • Deliberately making a false report
  • Deliberately and repeatedly acting in a way that is almost but not quite a violation of the code of conduct
  • Threatening, rewarding, or otherwise coercing someone to not report or lie about a violation of the code of conduct
  • Engaging in any unacceptable behaviour satirically or ironically if you are not a member of the marginalised group being mocked (e.g. ironic racism by someone not a member of the targeted racial group, a man imitating a misogynist person).

 

Reporting and enforcement

We strongly encourage everyone to report any violations of this code of conduct to the Code of Conduct Committee. We expect people in positions of power to be especially conscientious in reporting any violations they see, with the consent of the marginalised person involved, as they are less vulnerable to retaliation or pressure than people with less power.

Community members can report violations to the Code of Conduct Committee To report any contravention of the code of conduct, of them, their investors, their attendees, or their investee companies via info@tribeglobal.vc

The code of conduct committee consists of:

  1. Aaron Birkby, Co-Founder and Director of Tribe
  2. Don McKenzie, Co-Founder and Director of Tribe

 

If the person who violated the code of conduct is on the committee, 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:

  • Nothing
  • Verbal warning
  • Temporary ban from certain spaces or forums
  • Permanent ban from certain spaces or forums
  • Removal of responsibilities (eg replacement of the investor director or board observer from the board)
  • Termination of employment
  • Report to the Board of the company involved (either the investee company, the LP, or Tribe Global) for internal investigation of the individual.
  • Report to legal authorities

 

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.

Additional Structural Enforcement Measures:

  • Investee Companies. Tribe will ensure that for investee companies they invest in (Investee Companies), the shareholders agreements acknowledge the code of conduct, and commit to operating within the code of conduct. In the event Tribe receives a report about violations of the Code of Conduct about the portfolio company from the community, Tribe will report this directly to the Board of the Company, which having committed to the code of conduct to shareholders, will have a fiduciary obligation to undertake a process of evaluation of the complaint. Tribe have also executed side letters with investee companies where imposing it within a shareholders agreement are not possible, that include in them the following wording: “We agree to implement a code of conduct for the board, management, and operations of {insert company} in all geographies. The code of conduct will include, but not be limited to expectations, processes, and consequences to support a safe and effective environment for women.” and “We acknowledge our board, executive and operations of {insert companies} lack diversity. We acknowledge the benefits to performance with diverse teams. We agree to work with Tribe to foster an environment of greater female diversity at all levels of the organisation.”
 
  • Investors. Tribe will ensure that for Investors who invest in or through Tribe (ie the LPs and syndicate members), the investor agreements acknowledge the code of conduct, and commit to operating within the code of conduct. In the event Tribe receives a report about violations of the Code of Conduct about a Limited Partner or investor from the community, Tribe will report this directly to the Board of Tribe Global Ventures, and to the Board of the Limited Partner (if it is a company), which having committed to the code of conduct to shareholders, will have a fiduciary obligation to undertake a process of evaluation of the complaint.
 
  • Employment Contracts. Tribe will ensure that all employment contracts of Tribe will acknowledge the code of conduct, and commit to operating within the code of conduct. In the event Tribe receives a report about violations of the Code of Conduct about an employee from the community, Tribe will report this directly to the Board of Tribe Global Ventures, which having committed to the code of conduct to shareholders, will have a fiduciary obligation to undertake a process of evaluation of the complaint.
 
  • Events. Tribe will ensure all events include acceptance and acknowledgement to adhere to the code of conduct: “By registering for this event, you agree that you adhere to the Tribe Global Ventures Code of Conduct that can be found here [link].” Tribe seeks to provide a physically and mentally safe environment at all our events. Tribe events are work related events, not personal events. We expect that women can attend without concern of any unsolicited advances. We reserve the right to remove any person that creates a risk to the safe environment we seek to foster. We reserve the right to terminate an event early should at our discretion, the situation require. Should you feel unsafe for any reason, or you see behavior that would be considered unsafe or in the spirit of a respectful and professional environment, the following process exists to rectify the situation: Notify Aaron Birkby or Don McKenzie of the incident. You can do this in person, phone call, text message or email. The board of Tribe Global Ventures will be notified. We will engage with you in the appropriate response to the situation. We will respect privacy and confidentiality in the matter should you wish.