Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are the cornerstones of ICC culture and values and crucial to our purpose to secure peace, prosperity and opportunity for all.

For further information contact

  • François Dréan Internal Communications and Diversity & Inclusion OfficerContact by email

Diversity spurs economic growth by tapping into the skills and talent of marginalised groups and individuals. We recognise the economic and social benefits of diversity, while undertaking efforts to improve cultural and gender balances to benefit our own services and operations. 

ICC is committed to playing our part, integrating efforts into our own operations and sharing best practice and initiatives that successfully reduce inequalities and the gender gap. We are dedicated to fostering a culture of inclusion across all work areas and undertake a range of initiatives to leverage the diversity of our workforce around the world.   

We recognise that diversity is the backbone of creativity and innovation and acknowledge that more work needs to be done to harness inclusive leadership. We are working proactively to combat bias, discrimination and harassment to unlock our collective full potential.  

ICC is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and a non-discriminatory workplace experience for all. In 2021, ICC scored 91 points out of 100 in the Professional Equality Index. (L’Index Égalité professionnelle 2021 d’ICC est de 91.) 

ICC diversity initiatives

World Business Women

Despite making up over half the population, the contributions of women to measured economic activity is far below potential, resulting in an estimated GDP loss of up to 27% in some regions of the world (IMF).  Improving gender diversity in labour force participation can go a long way in advancing the attainment of the UN Global Goals, particularly toward gender equality and reduced inequalities. 

Business recognises the urgency to address the gender gap in labour force and supports measures taken by governments to accelerate efforts – particularly in increasing opportunities for women in leadership positions. 

ICC promotes pragmatic guidelines, such as the United Nations’ Women’s Empowerment Principles and works to raise awareness of the need for women’s empowerment within the B20 and other processes. Contributing to these global efforts, ICC established World Business Women (WBW), a staff-led initiative that works to ensure ICC’s internal policies, leadership and representative bodies reflect the gender diversity of the communities it represents.   

As part of our commitment, ICC leadership signed the ICC Gender Balance Pledge in 2018, committing to promote gender diversity in panel discussions at conferences in which ICC participates. 

World Business Pride  

Committed to leading by example, we provide an inclusive, fair and safe workplace for members of the LGBTQIA community to bring their whole, authentic selves to work. 

ICC World Business Pride was launched in March 2021 as a staff-led initiative for and about the LGBTQIA community and allies. 

The World Business Pride Pledge outlines commitments to foster an inclusive environment, raise awareness, generate engagement, provide a safe space and set gold standards. 

ICC Disability Task Force

ICC’s creation of a disability task force in 2021 marks the first such effort by an arbitral institution to make dispute resolution more inclusive for people with disabilities. 

To access the “ICC Guide on Disability inclusion in International Arbitration and ADR” click here

Chambers of commerce and diversity 

Chambers of commerce are an essential and credible intermediary between government, business and the general public, representing international and national corporations, to small- and medium-sized companies. Chambers exist almost every country and offer a multitude of programmes and services to support trade and development including promoting diversity and inclusion as a force for social and economic good. 

The ICC World Chambers Federation benefits from the diversity of its membership and works to leverage the influence and connectivity of the chamber network to improve the economic empowerment of women and other underrepresented groups in the global workforce.

Diversity initiatives in dispute resolution and prevention

In a Centenary Declaration on Dispute Prevention and Resolution issued in March 2023, ICC pledged to  “build on ground-breaking work on diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of dispute prevention and resolution, including all stakeholders in the process”.

Diversity in arbitration 

The professional, cultural and gender diversity of ICC Court members reflects the world-class standard and international reach of ICC Arbitration. We believe that diversity enhances the arbitration process in the long term and gives users of our services access to the very best minds and talents available. 

In November 2022, the ICC Court included language in all letters to parties and co-arbitrators encouraging them, when nominating arbitrators to consider diversity, broadly defined by, but not limited to race, ethnicity, culture, generation and gender. The same language has been added as of 1 January 2022 to the Note to National Committees and Groups on the proposal of Arbitrators.  

As part of an on-going diversity in dispute resolution strategy, ICC discloses data on the gender balance of ICC tribunals to enhance diversity as well as transparency in international arbitration more generally, demonstrating the quality of our tribunals, which is an utmost priority. 

We have also pledged support for equal representation of women in arbitration, joining a range of institutions and prominent members of the international dispute resolution community, as a signatory of the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge. The pledge sets out meaningful and actionable steps that the arbitration community can take towards rapidly increasing, on an equal opportunity basis, the number of women appointed as arbitrators. 

In 2021, ICC received a Global Arbitration Review Award for Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge for the launching the ICC Task Force on Disability Inclusion and International Arbitration and LGBTQIA+ network.

Disability inclusion in arbitration and ADR

In 2021, ICC launched an ICC Task Force on Disability Inclusion and International Arbitration, formed under the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR.

LGBTQIA+

In 2021, an LGBTQIA+ network within the ICC Court was created. The network is now open to all dispute resolution practitioners in the LGBTQIA+ community and to LGBTQIA+ allies. Sign up here to join and receive information on this network.

At ICC, we make business work for everyone, every day, everywhere. And when we say “everyone”, we mean it.

We celebrate the diversity of our people and strive to inspire acceptance, cultivate a culture where difference matters, inclusion is essential, and equality of opportunity is for everyone.

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