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Afnic reveals figures on diversity within ICANN

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Although strengthening ICANN’s diversity has been accepted in principle, the discussions that preceded it have often been characterized by conflicting opinions about priorities, issues or current levels of diversity. At a time when a new group is about to be established to strengthen the diversity of ICANN, the importance of the subject should not be underestimated, since maximum participation and transparent deliberations of all the stakeholders concerned are needed in order to reflect the diversity of the points of views constituting the general (global) interest in a given situation.

Diversity is therefore neither an option nor a secondary requirement for ICANN.

Organized in April 2016, this collection of data on diversity indicators within ICANN has a twofold objective:

  •  enable a rapid, factual assessment of the current situation,
  •  provide a clear baseline for monitoring progress within the institution.

The collection involved a panel of 190 leaders within the ICANN community, occupying a function for which they were elected or appointed within the organization, such as members of the board, or college boards of stakeholders.


The results of this collection have highlighted several facts:

  •  The ICANN community continues to be predominantly from North America since 40% of the 190 leaders included in the study are from this region, making it the primary delegation within ICANN.                                   In contrast, Africa, Latin America and Asia are underrepresented.
  •  The predominance of English speakers is very strong with almost 2/3 of ICANN leaders having English as their mother tongue, which differs greatly from the global population.
  • Only 26% of ICANN’s leaders are women. This figure, far from gender equity, is difficult to interpret because the male / female ratio in the general population of ICANN’s participants was not available at the time when the study was first set up. One noteworthy fact, however, is the very low representation of women within the ICANN Board (4 of 16) and Nomcom (2 of 20).
  •  Finally, the business world and the academic / technical community constitute the majority of ICANN’s leaders since they represent about 80% of the individuals in this study, while the civil society and the public sector account for about 10% each.

This study is an experimental attempt to provide facts and figures on the diversity of ICANN. Much remains to be done to have a better idea of ​​this diversity.


For enquiries about this study please contact Afnic at


Download Icann Diversity Data