The ICANN community offers many opportunities to for women to take a seat at the table
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is celebrating an important milestone. For the first time in its 24-year history, the organization has two women at its highest positions.
During the ICANN Annual General meeting held in Kuala Lumpur in September 2022, Malaysia, Tripti Sinha was elected ICANN Board Chair. Sinha has been a member of the ICANN community for more than 8 years and has served as ICANN Board member since 2018.
Sally Costerton, ICANN Senior Advisor to the President and Senior Vice President, Global Stakeholder Engagement, was named Interim President and CEO in December 2022. Costerton has led ICANN’s global offices and internationalization strategy for more than 10 years.
Sinha is the second female Board Chair in ICANN’s history. In 1998, Esther Dyson was named ICANN Board Chairman. Costerton is the first female in ICANN’s history to serve in the President and CEO role.
“There are many ways that women around the world can participate in ICANN, whether they come from academia, civil society, the public or the private sector,” said Costerton. “The ICANN community of Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees offers many opportunities for women to take a seat at the table, and to be at the forefront of policy-making processes that govern different aspects related to the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS).”
DNS Women is an example of how women effectively participate in the DNS space. Founded in 2009 in Mexico, DNS Women is dedicated to promoting and empowering women in the DNS industry globally. The group will hold a session next week during ICANN’s public meeting, in Cancún, Mexico, as the U.S. and other countries celebrate Women’s History Month.
Overcoming the gender gap in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) can enhance women’s economic security and increase their opportunities. It can also help enrich the STEM field by broadening the viewpoints and preventing biases in the products produced and the services delivered, according to research by the American Association of University Women.
“Women leaders have a transformative effect on other women. Not only through mentoring, which I believe is vital to helping women succeed, but also because good representation can promote a sense of belonging. This is particularly important in the technology field,” said Sinha.
The ICANN community is convening for the ICANN76 Community Forum in Cancún, Mexico, from 11 to 16 March 2023. This online and in-person event is the first of three ICANN public meetings to be held in 2023.