Skip to main content

Diversity at ICANN

Background | Discussions | Resources | Programs | ICANN Organization


ICANN is entrusted with ensuring the stability, resiliency, and interoperability of the Internet's unique identifier systems in an open Internet, and was founded on the belief that it should reflect the diversity of the Internet community.

To live up to this responsibility, ICANN is committed to promoting greater diversity and supporting broad, inclusive participation in its processes.

This page will be updated as more information becomes available and as ICANN progresses through the implementation of the diversity recommendations in the Cross-Community Working Group (CCWG) on Accountability Work Stream 2 (WS2) Final Report. More information about CCWG-WS2 implementation can be found here.

ICANN Community Discussions on Diversity

Diversity Resources

Following is a list of resources that are available to the ICANN community to assist with diversity-related activities and strategies.

  • Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit

    This toolkit is part of the implementation of Work Stream 2 (WS2) Recommendation 1.6. The tips and best practices included here will help all community members to understand how ICANN defines diversity and inclusion, clarify why these are important, and to enhance diversity and foster inclusion within the ICANN community.

  • ICANN Learn course on "Unconscious Bias"

    This course can help community members recognize unconscious bias, assess how their own backgrounds and identities may play into decision making, and emerge with tools to better manage the negative impacts of unconscious bias. Sign up for free on ICANNLearn and enroll in the course.

  • ICANN Geographic Regions

    Table of countries and territories, and corresponding ICANN geographic regions.

  • Translations and Language Services at ICANN

    Language translation is essential for ICANN's global multistakeholder organization. ICANN's translations are available in the six United Nations languages – Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), English, French, Russian, and Spanish – where appropriate.

  • Community-wide surveys on Age Diversity and Participation and Gender Diversity and Participation

    The findings offer insights into perceptions of gender and age diversity in the community, potential and perceived barriers to participation, and the community's support for initiatives to enhance age and gender diversity.

  • ICANN Regional Plans and Reports

    As part of the regional offices' efforts to implement the ICANN Strategic Plan, these plans and reports capture the geographic diversity of various engagement/partnership projects. They also demonstrate the diversity of community members who have either actively participated in ICANN's work or played a leading role in different Supporting Organizations or Advisory Committees.

  • ICANN Annual Reports

    ICANN's Annual Reports now include a Diversity Report. The first Diversity Report is included on pages 84 to 87 of the 2022 Annual Report and includes data about ICANN org, the ICANN Fellowship and NextGen@ICANN Programs, and ICANN Public Meetings.

Programs to Enhance Diversity at ICANN

ICANN is committed to fostering diversity of participation and has a number of programs already in place to support diverse, inclusive participation. For more information, visit the following links:

  • NextGen@ICANN

    Through regional outreach, the NextGen@ICANN Program aims to provide the next generation of Internet users with insights into technical Internet governance and ICANN's multistakeholder model.

  • Fellowship Program

    The Fellowship Program seeks to create a broader and more globally diverse base of knowledgeable constituents to build capacity within the ICANN multistakeholder model.

  • ICANN Pandemic Internet Access Reimbursement Program

    This program aims to facilitate participation in ICANN Public Meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers community members who have limited Internet capacity financial assistance to increase their Internet bandwidth.

  • Community Childcare Grants Pilot Program

    The Community Childcare Grants Program aims to facilitate the in-person participation of community members with children at ICANN meetings. This program is currently on hold and will become operational when COVID-19 related circumstances permit.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the ICANN Organization

We are global by design, inclusive by commitment.

At ICANN, we value, recognize, and celebrate the uniqueness each individual contributes to our mission to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems. We foster an environment that is safe, inclusive, and positive, and where every voice matters.

Our team is global, diverse, and achievement-oriented. The ability to connect with and serve the ICANN community and each other is foundational to our culture. This inclusive culture is supported by tools and technology which enables active participation from all staff globally.

We support this in a number of ways including:

  • Diversity & Inclusion Training
  • Annual Staff Engagement Survey
  • Organizational Policies

ICANN's CEO Board Report includes diversity data about ICANN org.

ICANN is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, veteran status, physical or mental disability, sex, (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), childbirth or related medical conditions, family care status, genetic information, or any other protected characteristics protected by law.

For more information, see Careers at ICANN.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the ICANN Board and Nominating Committee

The Geographic Region representation among the ICANN Board is governed by the ICANN Bylaws.

Both the ICANN Board and the ICANN Nominating Committee are populated by a group of entities across the ICANN community. As a result, neither the ICANN Board nor the ICANN Nominating Committee have the ability to control or direct diversity considerations made during the selection process.

For future composition of the ICANN Nominating Committee, the entities making selections of delegates to the Nominating Committee will be informed by conversations with a new NomCom Standing Committee. The Standing Committee, which will soon be formed, has a specific charter responsibility to liaise with selecting entities to help identify potential elements of diversity that might support enhancing the diversity of the next year's Nominating Committee. As part of the ICANN Board Governance Committee's (BGC) annual conversation with the ICANN Nominating Committee on Board skill set identification, the BGC incorporates communication on other diversity elements, as appropriate.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."