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Women in Standards is an enthusiastic network of standards professionals who provide support, resources, and mentoring to promote business and personal growth.

Members and friends,
Happy holidays and warm wishes to all our Women in Standards members, followers, and community. Your contributions this year have helped to build a strong organization and I look forward to seeing everyone next month at the Women in Standards Virtual Annual “Dinner.” In January we’ll be releasing tips and tricks, the registration list, and more to our registered guests to help you have fun and meet new standards contacts and so register early to ensure you receive our notices.
This month the Women in Standards released an open letter to the community in response to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that questioned the validity of earned degrees, licenses, and certifications. To be clear, Women in Standards is proud of all its members and the titles they’ve earned through their diligence and commitment to their chosen industries. Use those titles, you’ve earned them. Read the full letter here.
Enjoy the upcoming end of year celebrations and from all of us at Women in Standards, a happy new year.
Warm wishes,
Karin Athanas
Executive Officer
Women in Standards
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Raising Your Voice, Being Heard at Meetings

Connect with your Peers and Share your Ideas at Meetings
Raising your voice during a committee meeting is an integral part of the standard development process. By asking a question, raising a concern, or making a comment you can enhance the standard. You can also further an important discussion or help to resolve an issue with your insights. The question is, how do you go about sharing that unique idea or thought?
Getting seen
Many of you are thinking – I’ll raise my hand – and you’re right. In a standards committee meeting, there are typically rules of order to be followed to ensure that those wanting to speak, get a chance to speak. If, however, there are many individuals with their hands raised, it can often occur that others are always called first or that your desire to speak is forgotten during a long discussion on another person’s comment.
So how else can we go about raising our voice?
A few situational changes can help such as:
  • Sitting closer to the Chair or committee officer (so that you can whisper to them that you’re still waiting to speak)
  • Offering to take notes (making you a figurehead of the meeting)
  • Standing when you have a question or comment (making you taller than the rest)
Go to the source.
Have a conversation with the chair or officer during a break, before or after the meeting, or in between meetings. Voice your desire to offer valuable contributions and ask for their advice on being heard during the meetings. This makes them aware that you feel you aren’t being given opportunities to speak and when following the above situational strategies, reminds them to call on you.
Look for support
Other members on the committee can also be great sources of support. If your comment relates to an issue under discussion, reach out to them during the break to continue the conversation. Offer your thoughts and ideas and ask their feedback. By building a connection with others, they may call on you to support their thoughts or ask your opinion during later discussion and provide you a valuable opportunity to engage with your thoughts.
The above suggestions will also help you to build relationships with your fellow committee members and further enhance the teamwork of the group. When they get to know you, it builds trust and trust leads to better efficiency within the group. It also shows them that you are committed to the project and are willing to do the work needed.
Do you have a ‘raising my voice’ story that you’d like to share? Click here to submit and Women in Standards may include it in a future publication.

Helpful Links on Establishing Committee Rules

Robert’s Rules of Order 

The Robert’s Rules Cheat Sheet 

The Priority of Rules in an Organization 

Robert’s Rules of Order – the Basics 

The Role of Parliamentarians 
Communication During Conflict

How to be Heard in the Heat of the Moment

Conflict in a committee or consensus body is not unexpected or uncommon. The members of the committee are there to share their ideas and come to agreement on which to incorporate into a document. Naturally, each person would like their idea to be the one chosen and will come prepared to defend their idea. Working with each other to listen to those ideas and fairly consider and discuss them is the challenge all standards volunteers face. When faced with conflict within the group how can members react to help support the discussion and move it in a positive direction?
Rules for Debate
Establishing rules for discussion including when members may speak, when they may rebut, etiquette and decorum for discussion (e.g., no name calling) are important in bringing structure to the process. The rules should be reviewed with the group prior to a discussion and then re-reviewed when a discussion appears to be getting heated or members are starting to bend the rules.

Read the full article, click here
Visit the Women in Standards Design Studio

Get your WiS branded and standards themed shirts, notepads and more. Each purchase includes a donation to Women in Standards. Click here
JSAG on Gender Responsive Standards - Update

11 December 2020 – Women in Standards Executive Officer Karin Athanas attended the December meeting of the Joint Strategic Advisory Group (JSAG) on Gender Responsive Standards. During the meeting new members were introduced. The JSAG now includes members from AFNOR, ANSI, BSI, Canada JISC, SN, UK, and the USA. CEN/CENELEC provided an updated on their work and the committee members discussed updates from the task groups. Of note, while several task groups began meeting in the fall of 2020 to review pre-work needed before the JSAG could begin work on the broader initiatives, the committee agreed to begin holding meetings for all task groups starting in Q1 of 2021. This to ensure each task group has time to align internally and to map out action plans for the year.
Winter Social

The holiday event was an exciting end to a tumultuous year. 2020 was certainly a challenge, but standards volunteers and professionals continued to face that challenge by shifting to virtual meetings and continuing the work of developing standards.  Teresa Ambrosius from the AAFS Standards Board (ASB) was victorious as this years’ Winter Social trivia winner and will receive a Women in Standards coffee mug from the newly launched  WiS Designs studio
Committee Updates

The events, education, and inclusiveness in standards committees finished the year strong. The Events committee is hard at work finalizing plans for the Women in Standards Virtual Annual “Dinner.” If you haven’t yet registered, grab a friend and click here to rsvp. The events committee has also been supporting the development of the 2021 events calendar and many workshops and more have now been added to the Women in Standards events page with more to come.

The inclusiveness in standards committee finalized and has now begun distribution of the Inclusion in Standards 2021 survey to SDOs. Are you the point-of-contact for your SDO? Then log in to the Women in Standards website and visit the members resources page to take part in the survey. Or reach out to your SDO to ensure they’re participating. The committee also finalized their action plan for 2021 and will be focused on developing a document(s) for incorporating inclusion and diversity practices into standards development and related standards programs.

Last but not least, the education committee is finalizing a competency framework document which outlines the knowledge, skills, and abilities that support volunteers in being successful on standards committees. The committee hopes to release the framework in early 2021 and include resources for Women in Standards members to hone and enhance their skills.   
Would you like to join a committee? Click here to sign up today! 
Sponsor the WiS

Participate in an educational presentation and voice your thoughts on standards development. 

Submit an article for publication in the WiS E-news.

Follow the Women in Standards on LinkedIn and Facebook and get up-to-date information on new standards activities - events, committees, and federal programs.

Participate in online chats on issues of standards and raising the voice and participation of women in standards. 

Gain life-long friends, champions, and mentors within the standards community. 
Task Management Mastery

Establishing your Strategy to Stay on Top of Commitments
You have three projects in process, and each has a multitude of action items that need to be completed. Which comes first? Which will take the longest? Which are dependent on other people? Managing your tasks requires a strong focus and commitment to identifying to do items, setting deadlines, and keeping lists.
Identifying To Do Items
When you need to book a meeting with someone, is it one step? You might list it in your to do list as one step, but you’d be missing a few key steps. Let’s look at all the steps involved in booking a meeting:
  • You need to first look at your schedule to see when you might be available. If booking multiple people, you might also check their schedules.
  • You also need to develop the agenda for the meeting
  • You would then reach out to meeting participants to propose days and times and provide them with the draft agenda so that they know why you want to hold a meeting.
  • Next, you’ll need to remind them to respond with their availability.
  • Once the day and time is selected, you need to create the meeting and invite all participants. If using a virtual meeting platform, you also need to create that meeting and include the call in /web address in your meeting invitation.
  • You may also create meeting visuals or finalize an agenda and send those to meeting participants prior to the meeting
Are there more steps than what’s listed above? Yes. Each of these steps takes time and can’t always be performed in one day. By mapping them out, you have a better idea of the time commitment for each and when they’d need to be completed to keep you on track.
Meetings are an easy example but think of the other things you do on a regular basis and start mapping out each small step you need to take to accomplish them. You’ll quickly see that it adds up to a lot of time.
Setting Deadlines
Knowing when something needs to be completed is great and you should always ask for people’s expectations when they assign you a task and then clearly identify the deadline in your task list. I’d also suggest you add the deadline to your calendar with a reminder set to notify you a few days before the deadline. This will act as an early warning system to keep you from missing an important deadline.
You should also be considering how long each step of completing that action will take. If one step is going to take a significant amount of time, book it into your schedule early enough so that if you don’t finish, you can complete the work later before the other steps need to be finished. Also consider booking it for early in the morning as your usually at your best first thing in the morning when you’re well rested. If you need to get input from others, allow as much time as possible and also actions to remind them to respond. Any work that needs input from others adds a step that you can’t control and so you should factor in additional time to get it completed. Other people are just as busy as you and will need to fit your request into their schedule and so, be clear as to what you need, ask them to respond by a specific date, and then follow-up to confirm that they received the request and can meet the deadline you’ve set.   
Keep Lists
A list is critical, and everyone has one. You keep a list for your next trip to the grocery store, you keep lists of members and customers, you definitely need to keep a list of your action items. In fact, you need at least two lists. One for everything, it should have all projects, all to do items, and each action that you need to complete to accomplish your to do items. Have you ever been asked to do something, and you knew you didn’t have time, but you had a hard time explaining? Just show someone your master list and they’ll be able to quickly see that you have plenty of tasks on your plate and that you aren’t available to work on their project. As an extra bonus, if you have too many actions on your list, you can show your manager and ask for their help in shifting priorities or reassigning work to help you better balance your workload.
The second list you should have is your weekly or daily list. This is the list of tasks you want to complete that day or that week. They should be specific, achievable, and realistic about how many you can complete in the allocated time. As an example, if you’re attending a conference that week, but you need to write three articles and attend an online meeting, you might have overcommitted yourself. If you find yourself needing to complete certain tasks and you can see that you don’t have enough time on your schedule, this is the moment to start cancelling or postponing meetings to make the time.
In Summary
Once you’ve established your system and created your lists, dedicate yourself to reviewing the list each week. Every Monday is a good practice because it allows you to think about the coming week, reschedule meetings if you find yourself overbooked, and develop your list for that day or week. It also allows you to shift priorities if needed or ask your manager for more time if things are taking longer than expected.
Also commit to adding all new items to the list, even the small ones. When you try to memorize smaller tasks rather than adding them to the list, you run the risk of forgetting and can create stress for yourself. By keeping things on the list, you don’t need to worry about remembering and you can enjoy the satisfaction of crossing things off the list.
Do you have a task management tool or strategy that works for you? Click here to submit your success strategy and Women in Standards may include it in a future publication.
Top Five Schedule Management Tips

Don’t Miss That Next Meeting: Learn the Skills to Manage Your Schedule
Virtual meetings have made it possible attend meetings being held around the world. So much so that you could find yourself booked every hour of the day or booked for multiple meetings in the same hour. If you’ve found yourself trying to navigate leaving one meeting that’s run long to attend another that’s just getting started keep reading for our top five tips to better manage your schedule.

Read the full article, click here
Women in Standards keeps you informed of current calls for committee or consensus body members and employment opportunities.

This week the TAA has an opening for Membership Director, click the below link for more information. The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has several notices calling for volunteers to sit on their standards development boards. Including opportunities on their IESBA, IAASB, and IPSASB. Click here to learn more.

Did you know… SDO Members are able to add calls for committee members and job opportunities to the Women in Standards Opportunities page by logging into to the website, more information on how to add your opportunities to the Women in Standards page can be found here
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