Community Global
June 01, 2023 | 12–15 min read

ICL Included in Bloomberg’s 2023 Gender-Equality Index


The ICL Group gains major recognition for its rapid progress towards achieving greater gender equality in the workplace.

The group was listed in the prestigious Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the fifth consecutive year. This type of high-level recognition is a major endorsement of ICL’s policies – and efforts – over recent years and the company’s success in achieving gender equality and fairness across its global enterprises. 

This blog post will examine the practical steps that ICL has taken to move towards true gender equality in recent years and will explore the group’s plans for the future. 2022 was an amazing year for ICL, with increased profitability across every division. Part of the reason for our success is our ability to identify human talent and draw on diversity for true innovation and out-of-the-box thinking!

What is the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index

The international financial, software, data, and media company Bloomberg publishes an annual Gender Equality Index (GEI) that tracks the performance of public companies that show a commitment to implementing gender equality and displaying transparency in their gender-data reporting. The GEI uses five core pillars to measure gender equality in corporations.

  1. Leadership and Talent Pipeline
  2. Equal Pay and Gender Parity
  3. Inclusive Culture
  4. Anti-Sexual Harassment Policies
  5. External Brand 

The methodology and metrics of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index make it a highly credible authority and a go-to reference for anybody who wants to measure the actual performance of a public company. Inclusion in the Bloomberg GEI is a significant advantage for any major business that seeks ethical investors and business partners, and that wishes to demonstrate a high level of ESG. 

Achieving Gender Equality at ICL

The ICL Group is built on innovation and has a worldwide reputation for its success in both developing new technologies and using them to create new products and materials. When your goal is to disrupt the market in a range of industries and to expand as a global force, you need the best people in the world.

Our successful implementation of gender equality is opening the door to a new generation of talented employees, across the fields of research and development, product engineering, site management, field-level agronomy, and every other aspect of ICL’s international operations. 

ICL’s diverse employees bring new perspectives and fresh ideas, as well as energy and enthusiasm, to every workplace within the group. ICL is working systematically to advance the inclusion of women and underrepresented groups and to build on the considerable achievements that we’ve already made. We’ve outlined some of our current goals and strategies below:

Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce

Employees are the lifeblood of any business and ICL has always invested time and effort in trying to attract the best and brightest people to the company. Our goal is to increase diversity and reach out to people who might not have previously considered a career at ICL while maintaining the high standards that make ICL a world leader in agritech, chemical engineering, and other high-tech fields. 

We’re continually developing and optimizing a diversity and inclusion strategy that identifies genuine talent – or potential – and focuses on attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse workforce. These strategies will include reaching out to high school students and raising awareness of ICL’s operations and the opportunities that exist for anybody with the right skill set and mindset.

Training, Professional Development, and Mentoring

One of a company’s greatest assets is the people who work for it. ICL depends on its people to achieve growth and to implement a new sustainable business model. We’re investing in our employees because they are the future of the company. 

A big part of our human investment strategy is providing training, development, and mentoring programs for all with special attention to women to support their career progression. The goal is to identify potential and develop it into practical skills and abilities – and to engender the self-confidence to progress. Any ICL employee can rise as far as their own abilities, ambition, and capacity for hard work will take them. There are no external limits or glass ceilings.

Flexible Working and Family-Friendly Policies

Since the COVID-19 lockdowns, we’ve seen a revolution in work practices and workplace culture. New technologies have enabled a level of flexibility that would have been unimaginable a generation ago. Employees also have radically different expectations regarding work-life balance, flexible working arrangements, parental leave, and corporate assistance with childcare. 

ICL is determined to create the optimal working environment, particularly when it comes to supporting female employees. We’re working hard to implement flexible working practices that allow women (and men) to balance the commitments that come with raising a family, with the demands of a challenging and worthwhile career. We’re also considering how to recruit and integrate women who are returning to the workplace after raising a family. 

Achieving Transparency with Quantifiable KPIs

What sets genuinely innovative and dynamic organizations apart from their peers is the ability to follow through with their intentions. ICL is focusing on key performance indicators (KPIs) as a way to set and achieve quantitative targets in the field of diversity and gender equality. We’ve been systematically assessing and reviewing the number and percentage of women within the company and management teams. 

Our baseline target is that 20% of the workforce will be women and 25% of senior management and the Board of Directors will also be female. It is anticipated that our training, mentoring, and professional development programs will play a key role in developing talent and preparing existing female employees for leadership positions within the company. 

Instituting Annual Reviews of Global Gender Pay Gaps

As part of our commitment to achieving gender equality, ICL actively reviews global gender pay gaps on an annual basis. Many people, who don’t know ICL well, may be surprised to learn that there is currently no significant pay gap within the ICL workforce. 

ICL is committed to providing all its employees with competitive salaries that allow for the best possible quality of life and job satisfaction. We continue to monitor for any disparities in salaries between male and female employees and will strive to ensure that individual remuneration fairly reflects each employee’s professional qualifications and actual performance. 

Our Commitment to the United Nations Global Compact

The UN Global Compact and its related 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seek to address issues relating to human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption on a worldwide basis. ICL Group – itself a global employer – is committed to the UN Global Compact and is working to achieve its goals. Our strategies for gender diversity and equality in the workplace make a direct (and quantifiable) contribution towards the UN’s Gender Equality SDG 5: to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. 

Implementing the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles

The United Nations is also providing valuable leadership with its Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). ICL is one of over 3,000 businesses that have adopted the WEPs. Since 2021, we’ve been integrating them into our own diversity and gender equality strategies. Our adoption – and actual implementation – of another important UN initiative adds to ICL’s ESG credentials.

More on the subject:

ICL’s Commitment to Reduce the Corporate Gender Power Gap
The Meaning of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
ICL’s Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

ICL’s Ongoing Commitment to Gender-Equality in the Workplace

ICL is committed to being a world leader on every level. This means maintaining a competitive edge and successfully recruiting the next generation of talented, innovative, and enthusiastic employees. Any company that wants to reach its full potential needs to tap into the widest spectrum of human abilities. A rise in the number of women in our workplaces can transform how we do business. 

ICL is committed to reaching out to girls and young women who are still in education – high schools and universities – and showing them the opportunities that exist across ICL’s core divisions and its wide range of operations. We’re also committed to nurturing existing talent within the company and giving female employees the practical tools and a framework to advance on equal terms with their male colleagues. 
If you’re interested in a career at ICL or are looking for a strategic partnership via our ICL Hub, we’re keen to hear from you today!

Ms. Els Duffhues, Global Learning Director and Global Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Officer at ICL Group

This post was written in cooperation with

Ms. Els Duffhues, Global Learning Director and Global Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Officer at ICL Group

Ms. Els Duffhues is the Global Learning Director and Global Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Officer at ICL Group. She holds a Master's Degree in Personnel Sciences from the Catholic University Brabant (KUB) in The Netherlands and has been part of ICL since 2015. With over 20 years of experience, she has actively contributed to areas such as Diversity and Inclusion, Personal Development, Leadership, Change Management, and Diversity Program Development. Ms. Duffhues is deeply passionate about her work and firmly believes in living by Oscar Wilde's quote: "Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”

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