ICFJ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policies 

Purpose and Scope

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) strives to create an environment that embraces differences, maintains inclusion and fosters equitable treatment for all. This Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy applies to all ICFJ employees, interns, contractors and program participants when they act on behalf of ICFJ. 

Policy Statement

ICFJ is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. We will intentionally reflect this commitment in our policies, our actions and our work serving a global community of journalists. 

Our human capital is the most valuable asset we have. We embrace and encourage our employees’ differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make our employees unique. ICFJ’s diverse workforce reflects its culture, reputation and achievement. 

Diversity and inclusion are supported at the highest levels of the organization. These policies are applicable—but not limited to—recruitment and selection, compensation and benefits, mentoring and professional development, and promotions and severance. 


Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action (5.12)

To provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at the International Center for Journalists will be based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. The International Center for Journalists does not discriminate against any person because of age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, other characteristics that make our employees unique or any other characteristic protected by law (referred to as "protected status"). This non-discrimination policy extends to all terms, conditions and privileges of employment as well as to the use of all company facilities, participation in all company-sponsored activities, and all employment actions such as promotions, compensation, benefits, corrective actions and termination of employment.

The International Center for Journalists will also take Affirmative Action as called for by applicable laws and Executive Orders to ensure qualified underrepresented minorities are included in its workforce and considered for promotional opportunities. 


Employees with questions or concerns about any type of discrimination in the workplace should follow ICFJ’s Formal Complaint Process. (See ICFJ’s Formal Complaint Process below.) 


Reasonable Accommodations under American with Disabilities Act (5.5)

The International Center for Journalists is committed to complying fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and applicable state law, and to ensure equal opportunity in employment for qualified persons with disabilities. All employment practices and activities are conducted on a non-discriminatory basis.

Hiring procedures are designed to provide persons with disabilities meaningful employment opportunities. Pre-employment inquiries are made only regarding an applicant's ability to perform the duties of the position.

Reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities will be made unless to do so would be an undue hardship. All employment decisions are based on the merits of the situation in accordance with defined criteria, not the disability of the individual.

Qualified individuals with disabilities are entitled to equal pay and other forms of compensation (or changes in compensation) as well as in job assignments, classifications, organizational structures, position descriptions, lines of progression and seniority lists. Leave of all types will be available to all employees on an equal basis.

The International Center for Journalists is also committed to not discriminating against any qualified employees or applicants because an applicant is related to or associated with a person with a disability. The International Center for Journalists will follow any state or local law that provides individuals with disabilities greater protection than the ADA.

This policy is neither exhaustive nor exclusive. The International Center for Journalists is committed to taking all other actions necessary to ensure equal employment opportunity for persons with disabilities in accordance with the ADA and all other applicable federal, state, and local laws.


Language Diversity

The International Center for Journalists prides itself in having a staff that is linguistically diverse. While the organization recognizes English as the primary language of the workplace, it acknowledges that other languages are both necessary for programmatic reasons and welcome to affirm diversity. It is important, however, that speaking a language other than English should not be used to exclude or demean co-workers.



It is the absolute policy of the International Center for Journalists  to prohibit harassment based on age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, other characteristics that make our employees unique and any other protected characteristic. Harassment based on opposition to discrimination or participation in complaint proceedings is also strictly prohibited. This policy applies to all employees. We require all contractors, program participants, interns and other relevant individuals to read and acknowledge ICFJ’s policies.


Examples of Prohibited Conduct

Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to:

  • Unwelcome touching or contact
  • Offensive pictures or objects
  • Offensive jokes
  • Slurs, epithets or name-calling
  • Physical assaults or threats
  • Intimidation
  • Ridicule or mockery
  • Insults or put-downs
  • Undue attention
  • Bullying, including verbal, written, electronic and hostile gesturing
  • Constant or unwelcome questions about an individual's identity; and
  • Failure or refusal of a manager to address complaints of sexual overtures


On Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome or unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, as well as other conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • The submission to or rejection of such conduct is made a condition of the employee’s continued employment, or used as the basis for any employment decisions affecting the employee; or
  • The conduct, if unwelcome and severe or pervasive, creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, or unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work environment. 

Examples of what may constitute sexual harassment, besides sexual advances and requests for sexual favors include, but are not limited to:

  • Verbal: suggestive comments; statements or questions about personal sexual matters; insults, threats or jokes about personal or physical traits; or jokes of a sexual nature (including innuendos).
  • Non-verbal: suggestive or insulting noises; obscene gestures; or the use of literature, emails or pictures which are sexually suggestive, revealing, demeaning or pornographic.
  • Physical: touching, pinching, rubbing or massaging the body; coercing sexual relations; or assault.


ICFJ's Formal Complaint Process

Employees, interns, contractors and program participants are encouraged to report complaints as quickly as possible. 

Anyone who feels they have been the victim of harassment or discrimination or who has observed harassing or discriminating behavior or who knows of harassment or discrimination is responsible for notifying their supervisor. If the supervisor fails to address the issue, the complainant should immediately notify the Human Resources Director, who will discuss the matter with the President. If the issue is not sufficiently addressed, the complainant should bring the matter to the attention of a designated person on the ICFJ Board of Directors*.

Once employees notify the supervisor, the HR Director and President will conduct a prompt, impartial, and thorough investigation. During an investigation, the identity of individuals who report harassment, alleged victims, witnesses, and alleged harassers will be kept confidential to the extent possible and permitted by law. Employees are encouraged to respond to questions or to otherwise participate in investigations. Information obtained during an investigation will be kept confidential to the extent consistent with a thorough and impartial investigation and as permitted by law. ICFJ is committed to assuring all employees that immediate and appropriate corrective action, up to and including discharge, will be taken if it is determined that harassment has occurred.


*Designated ICFJ Board Member: Marcy McGinnis marcy.mcginnis@gmail.com as of October 2020


No Retaliation Policy

Under no circumstances will ICFJ tolerate retaliation against an employee for exercising their right to report harassing behavior. No employee should so much as imply that an individual's refusal to submit to advances will have an effect on the individual's employment, assignment, compensation, advancement, career development or any other condition of employment. Employees who report harassing conduct, participate in investigations, or take any other action protected under federal employment discrimination laws will be protected from retaliation.


Our Responsibilities

Managers must:

  • Foster a work environment free of discrimination and harassment.
  • Understand and apply the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion policy and practices in the day-to-day management of employees, interns, contractors and program participants.
  • Recognize unacceptable behavior and take immediate appropriate action.


Employees, interns, contractors and program participants must:

  • Understand and abide by the DE&I policy and practices in their day-to-day work and their dealings with colleagues and business partners.
  • Respect the differences of others.
  • Alert Human Resources or management of any concerns with regard to the misconduct of other employees.

Failure to comply with this Policy may be grounds for disciplinary actions, up to and including termination.