About Us 

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,

I have had some wonderful conversations with Women in Standards members this month and am in awe of your resilience and stamina in the face of difficult times. Your willingness to entertain, amuse, and encourage each other is heartening and I thank you for all you do. 
This week, we will host our first Women in Standards webinar - this Thursday, May 28th. Kate Dolan will be sharing with us her experiences working on ISO standards development committees, chairing committees, and how the ISO standardization process works. I look forward to hearing everyone’s questions and asking a few of my own! Following the presentation, we’ll have a short break and then a post-discussion happy hour to provide a casual atmosphere to discuss the presentation, our own experiences working on ISO committees, and to catch up and see old friends.
Remember to register by Wednesday for both events, you can do so by visiting the Women in Standards Events page. Also remember to continue the conversation in the Women in Standards LinkedIn and Facebook members only groups.
Need a bit of entertainment? Sign up for the Women in Standards 2020 Challenge – top winners will be recognized at the 2021 Women in Standards Dinner and you never know, there might be a prize!
Warm wishes,
Karin Athanas
Executive Officer & Board President
Women in Standards
Writing a Documentary Standard - The Rationale for Standards Development

Making the argument that something – a process, practice, system of steps, or requirements – should be captured in writing and used by everyone is a daunting exercise. The question always arises, why do we need this and what good will it serve. The ‘good’ being the public good, meaning it will have some positive benefit on all those affected.
For this, we turn to a story that should sound very familiar to all:
When stepping up to my dishwasher, I have a method, a system that I have found ensures the maximum number of dishes can be added to the dishwasher while still ensuring cleanliness. I developed my system overtime and perhaps picked up a few habits from my family, but I’ve made it all my own. If you were to ask my spouse, they’ll suggest my ‘technique’ is flawed and I should be using a different approach. We haven’t performed studies to determine which approach is most effective; what we are both suggesting is that our way is ‘best practice’ and the other is the work of madness.
The proper loading of a dishwasher might sound trivial, but check the instructions for your dishwasher, it’s very likely you’ll find the recommended approach to loading found within. While you may be unwilling to research and compare the benefits of you and your spouse’s (or roommate’s) loading strategies, the dishwasher manufacturer was. This is part of a larger strategy to ensure consumers get the most benefit from their dishwasher and the dishwasher’s 1. Cycle time, 2. Heat wash, 3. Heat dry and other factors all provide the highest level of cleanliness and capacity.
In this case, each dishwasher manufacturer has done their own independent research, and each has their own recommended approach to loading their unique model of dishwasher. This serves the common ‘good’ because each purchaser (or consumer) of that specific model of dishwasher can feel relatively assured that if they load the dishwasher in the way recommended by the manufacturer, that they will achieve a certain level of satisfaction from the dishwasher.
Now, consider a world where the manufacturer has not done you that service and there is no recommended ‘best practice’ for loading your dishwasher. Is it an issue so critical that a standard method must be established? Perhaps not, a few considerations:
  • Have fights broken out?
  • Are you wasting time ‘reloading’ dishes in the proper order?
  • Has the cleanliness of dishes really declined?
  • Is one or more people refusing to do the dishes for fear of doing it wrong?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you may have a successful argument for development of a documentary standard!
Ready to take it to the next level? Consider how your neighbor or best friend loads and perhaps seek them out to establish a community or “De facto” standard. More on that in Karen Reczek’s piece entitled “Mandatory Standards Come in Many Flavors.”

Helpful Links on Building Consensus

The Art of Getting to Yes: 5 Techniques for Building Consensus

A Short Guide To Consensus Building

Overview of Multi-Stakeholder Consensus Building

Performance Management
Mandatory Standards Come in Many Flavors

This month, Karen Reczek, Women in Standards Board Vice President has provided an informative article on what is a Mandatory Standard, what forms they can take and how a voluntary standard might become a mandatory standard. 

Click here to read further 
Board Nominations

Women in Standards is excited to announce the nomination of Veronica A. Lancaster, Vice President, Standards Program, at Consumer Technology Association (CTA) to represent the Women in Standards Membership on the Board of Directors.
Click Here to view Veronica’s biography and to submit your ballot (WiS members-only page)
The Membership is now asked to submit their ballot to approve the nomination of Veronica A. Lancaster to the position of 2020 Membership Representative Board of Director or to nominate an alternate.

The deadline to submit your completed ballot is 5pm EST, July 1st, 2020.
Women in Standards Committee Work

Women in Standards Executive Officer and Board President, Karin Athanas, has joined the ANSI virtual U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to support the ISO Joint Strategic Advisory Group (JSAG) on Gender Responsive Standards.

To support these efforts, Women in Standards will stand up an ad hoc committee to discuss issues of application in the United States and develop recommendations. If interested in participating, reach out to
Women in Standards sends its thanks to all of its Sponsors - ASTM, UL, and ICC - and our organizational members whose support ensures continued access to webinars, happy hours, special content, and education for the Women in Standards Members.
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. 

Register by May 27!
Visit the Women in Standards Events page here.
Meeting Facilitation for Standards Development
Standards development involves the collaboration of a group of people to develop a shared document and they might not agree on what should be in that document or what to do next. There are a lot of reasons for this including cultural differences, stubbornness, and differences in technical expertise. No matter the reason, if progress is going to be made, everyone in that groups needs to start talking and a meeting facilitator can help.
A meeting facilitator is someone that sets up meetings and discussions in such a way to as keep the group talking, sharing ideas, learning about each other and the issue and gradually moving to a place where they find common ground. A facilitator is a job, it’s a skill that is learned and practiced. If you’ve ever been to a facilitated meeting, you immediately note the difference.
For one, at the onset, the facilitator seeks agreement from the group as to why everyone is there and what goals need to be accomplished. This is a critical first step and it is used to routinely remind the group when things get hard why everyone is there and what the goal is. In the direst of times, it’s a great way to recalibrate and cool any flames that have broken out.
Next, the facilitator might split the group into smaller groups (depending on the size of the group). This allows for small pockets of consensus to be developed and for relationship building. Those groups are also asked to discuss only small sections of the issue, looking for areas where the group may already agree.
Building on agreement, a strong facilitator can use those small areas of agreement to help pull the group together and get them talking about the more difficult issues. This process allows them to establish a common language of terms to ensure shared understanding and better identify where they might agree.
Finally, the facilitator will end each meeting by reiterating the reason everyone is there, the goals, and the progress the group made. This provides the group will clear ‘wins’ to celebrate and encourage them to keep working towards that shared goal.
To learn more about meeting facilitation, consider these helpful articles:

Supporting Diversity in the Workplace - Embracing your Unique Perspective

“There’s more to diversity than gender, skin pigmentation and other physical characteristics,” Grant Freeland, contributor for Forbes stated in his December 2019 article on diversity. [1] Who we are as people, what languages we speak or are spoken in our homes, our hobbies, and interests; these all contribute to making each member of a team a unique contribution to the whole.

Click here, to read the full article.

During this time of difficulties, it is heartening to see SDOs moving forward, holding meetings virtually, and embracing new areas of innovation. Here are a few open positions for your consideration:
All SDO members may submit open positions to the Women in Standards Job Board, click here. Not an SDO member? Reach out to
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Copyright © 2020 Women in Standards, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp