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,
Standards experts and participants from around the world came together this month to celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion. Inviting people from around the world with different viewpoints and life experiences to collaborate has been found to spur creativity, efficiencies, and increase profits for the most diverse organizations.
Together as a community, we can help to invite individuals to standardization, help them feel welcome and supported, and by doing so, bring new ideas to help build better standards.
Below you’ll find tips and suggestions from the Women in Standards to help you grow your skills to support your diverse teams and committees and promote inclusiveness and equity throughout the standardization ecosystem.
Happy reading and reach out to to share your inclusiveness story.
Warm wishes,
Karin Athanas
Executive Officer
Women in Standards

p.s. Help the Women in Standards continue to grow, invite your diverse network to join today.
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The Many Benefits of Diversity
Adding Value through Unique Viewpoints
Industries around the world are moving to a technology driven digital workforce. Attracting highly skilled employees from anywhere in the world to work remotely. Creating unique opportunities to build teams that are as diverse as they are skilled. The ability to create remote teams provides businesses with opportunities to tap into a new source of value generation, diversity. With diversity, employers achieve increased creativity, maximize their skills toolkit, and achieve greater profitability.
Supercharging the Creation Machine
“Heterogeneity promotes creativity and heterogeneous groups have been shown to produce better solutions to problems and a higher level of critical analysis.” [1] Diversity is not just in gender, race, sexual orientation, or age. It incorporates the unique viewpoints and life experiences that come with growing up in a single parent family, on a military base, with a lifelong illness or disability, in advantaged or disadvantaged neighborhoods and more. One individual’s solution for a common problem may be vastly different from another’s based on their experiences and the resources they had at hand when they’ve encountered the same problem. And in contrast, others can identify when a solution won’t work, based on their unique experiences and viewpoints. By bringing those unique viewpoints together, creative ideas can grow and magnify. 
Enhancing Your Skills Toolkit
How many people do you know that love writing technical reports, or public speaking, or auditing financial data? Most people know one or two people that are willing to do it, but don’t love it. On a work team, it is critical to have not only a diversity of viewpoints but a diversity of skillsets. Diversity broadens the scope and not only that, but the more diverse a team is, the more likely that you will find you have more than one person who has a certain skill but also can perform it differently. [2] Providing even more variety to your skills toolkit. Maybe one team member is great at creating interactive virtual presentations while another is great at public speaking in front of a live audience. This diversity provides you with an advantage over other teams and makes you more flexible and able to adjust to the changing landscape of business.
Achieving Greater Profitability
A 2019 McKinsey survey found that “companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability.” [3] McKinsey also found that ethnically and culturally diverse businesses outperformed less diverse businesses by up to 36 percent in profitability. Not only do diverse teams contribute new ideas and a broad range of skillsets to the team; they can also challenge out-of-date concepts and develop projects that better meet the needs of diverse customer bases. As an example, if your customer base speaks four or more languages and likes to travel, it would be very beneficial for you to have staff that spoke those four languages and also enjoyed traveling. Ensuring you can meet your customers where they are and speak a language that resonates with them.
Building a diverse team doesn’t happen overnight. Ensuring you have established policies and procedures and a company culture that is welcoming to employees and encourages diverse viewpoints is a good start. And as you can see, overtime there are many benefits to gain by continuing to invite employees from different backgrounds and life experiences to your team.
[1] Managing Diversity in the Workplace: Guiding Principles, UC Berkley,
[2] 8 Reasons Why Diversity and Inclusion are Essential to Business Success,
[3] Diversity Wins How Inclusion Matters, McKinsey,

Helpful Links on Building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Greetings and customs around the world

Diversity Holiday Calendar

Steps for Building an Inclusive Workplace

Equity and Inclusion: The Roots of Organizational Well-Being

Building Your Plan: A Cultural Equity & Inclusion Toolkit
Building Equity for Participants
Ensuring Equal Access to Share Ideas
Building customer equity in standards development means to establish a system of fairness where each participant feels empowered with the same ability to share ideas and contribute in a way that works for them. Committees cannot be run equitably if only the loudest in the room gets to speak and share their ideas. To support your committee’s efforts to bring fairness into the discussion process, hear are three pitfalls to avoid.

Click here, to keep reading.

Join the Women in Standards

24 June at 3pm EST for our virtual panel on Innovations in Standards

Join the conversation!
The Women in Standards invites you to participate in a Pre-Event Survey to gain your insights on the future of standards.

CLICK HERE to take the survey today.
Committee Updates

Events Committee Update
Work on the 2022 virtual international event continues with the Events Coordination Committee selecting "Celebrate the Future of Standards" as the name of the annual event. The Annual Dinner is also in development with the committee having selected June 2022 as the event date. Join the committee to support continued work on both events. 

Education Committee Update
The Education Committee has begun using the project management tool Trello to track the development of multiple educational modules with each committee member contributing their expertise and feedback. The next meeting of the committee will be 25 June and all interested Women in Standards members are welcome to attend. 

Inclusiveness in Standards Committee Update
The Inclusiveness in Standards Committee and its task groups met this past week to discuss efforts to reach stakeholder contacts in standardization and beyond to share information and collaborate on issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The committee also continues its efforts to develop educational resources on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for our standards community. 

Click here to learn more about the WiS committees and join today. 
Want to form a committee? Develop your committee scope, identify committee members, and reach out to to submit your proposal. 
SES 70th Annual Virtual Conference

Join fellow Women in Standards members as they celebrate ‘The Future of Standardization’ at the SES 70th Annual Virtual Conference – August 3-5. Several Women in Standards members are scheduled to present during the event. Also, follow along to congratulate the 2021 SES awards recipients who will be announced throughout the conference. More here
WiS @ Digital AEM Product Safety & Compliance Seminar

Women in Standards Board President, Karin Athanas, to present during the Digital AEM Product Safety & Compliance Seminar held August 23-25, 2021. Karin’s presentation is part of the Women Impacting Product Safety breakout session and will address ‘Engaging with Others - Practical Tips for Success in Meetings.’ For more information about the seminar, click here.
Guidelines for Gender Equality
This past month, Karin Athanas attended a presentation hosted by ANSI on a newly proposed ISO standard on Guidelines for the Promotion and Implementation of Gender Equality. The standards project is being proposed by ISO member body AFNOR and would establish guidance on promoting and implementing gender equality at organizations. The proposal would not address human resources management focused diversity work, which is currently developed by ISO Technical Committee 260. ANSI is seeking comments on the draft proposal. All comments should be provided to Steve Cornish, ANSI Senior Director of International Policy (, by close of business on Friday, June 25, 2021.


Support our Outreach, Education Programs, and Promotion of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion.

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The Inclusive Naming Initiative

The Inclusive Naming Initiative ( is a grassroots project founded by leaders from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Cisco, Red Hat, VMWare, IBM, and more. Its mission is to help organizations and communities in the technology industry remove racist, offensive, and otherwise exclusionary and harmful terms, and replace them with more inclusive language. 

To support their work, Women in Standards is sharing their survey with members for their consideration.

This survey is intended to gather information about what Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) have done to deprecate harmful terms in their standards and related documentation.  If you participate in an SDO, please take a few minutes to complete this survey by 30 June 2021.  

Click here to take the survey.
Peek into In the News

Pro and SDO members, catch up on recent news from the standardization industry with our news service, updated weekly. Click here!
Water Safety in Care Facilities – IAPMO and FGI sign an MOU to develop documents in support of public health, safety and sustainability in care facilities. More hereJune 2021
LGBTQ safety professional – ASSP interviews three prominent LGBTQ safety professionals during Pride month. More here2021 June

Participate in an educational presentation.

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. 
Managing Diverse Teams
Establishing a Mindset for Success
Whether managing a standards committee or company team, diversity is a great benefit, but being supportive to your diverse team members requires preparation, knowledge, and practice.  Diversity in teams can present itself in a variety of ways from accessibility and cognitive differences, to cultural and socioeconomical divides. [1] Embracing and learning about what makes each team member unique will better prepare you to be a supportive manager.
Differing Viewpoints
Ensure you meet with each team member regularly and get to know their unique viewpoint on things like performance, motivation, and what they consider success. Little things like do they want you to check in with them often, do they enjoy friendly chats over coffee, and do they enjoy public praise will help you interact with them in positive ways.
Seeing things ‘through their eyes’ will also assist you in understanding what drives them and their decision making and will help you better communicate with them when you need something. Some team members as an example, may find casual meetings over food as unprofessional and they are less likely to want to engage in those situations. They may not enjoy eating in front of others or feel it an imposition to be required to have their lunch break with the team. Checking in with team members individually and letting them know that you are open to their opinions will help them to feel comfortable sharing with you that they do not like a certain management style that you are using or to request that you approach meetings in a different way. And learning about these concerns will help you adjust and grow as a manager, enhancing your skillset and ability to meet your team’s unique needs.  
Equal Treatment
A lot has been written about treating employees equally, ensuring that a written policy is interpreted and applied in the same way for everyone. But it is also equally important when working with a diverse team to consider when a policy might be applied equally, but not equitably. Not everyone on your team is going to celebrate the same holidays as an example. If your team members live in different countries, they may wish to celebrate the holidays of their country. To address this, some companies have chosen to provide a given number of holidays to be used whenever by an employee, allowing them to chose which holidays to celebrate. When meeting with your team members, ask them about the company’s policies and procedures and encourage them to tell you when things aren’t a good fit for them. It may be that your company policy is creating a barrier to that employee working effectively, because it has not been written with equity (rather than equality) in mind.
Clarifying Performance
When evaluating the performance of your diverse team, throw any ideas you have about the ideal employee out the window. Each employee is different, they come to the job with different expectations and skillsets. Praising one employee for always working late or volunteering for travel when neither is required, only punishes those employees that have legitimate reasons for not working late and not traveling.
For each employee, working with them to clearly spell out expectations and ensure you are both happy with the list is essential. This could include travel and working late but be cognizant that it won’t be a best fit for all people. Some cultures start work in the afternoon and work late into the evening. Others prefer shorter days or long lunch breaks. And some of your team members can complete a job in half the time it might take another. They both got the job done, but one has special skills or abilities that make them faster. Be flexible with your team members so that you are asking for equitable work.
By working with you team member to develop a shared expectation for performance, you provide them with an important level of transparency, and it makes evaluating their performance much easier. Rather than you evaluating them, ask them to evaluate themselves against the performance expectations that you developed together and then share your thoughts on how they did.
In summary, seeking and supporting diversity in your team means embracing what makes each team member unique and committing time to better understand their viewpoints and needs.  It also requires a willingness to challenge your own viewpoints and expectations and to be open to change to ensure positive outcomes for your team members.
[1] Top 34 Types of Diversity in the Workplace,
Creating an Inclusive Workspace
Opening the Door to Coworkers and Colleagues

When someone new joins the team, do you invite them out for lunch, walk them around to introduce them to everyone on the team or at the company, or spend time to tell them about the various resources available to them? If you do, congratulations, that’s a great first step. Not all companies do this, but it plays a critical role in ensuring employees feel welcome and included in their new environment.

Click here, to keep reading.
The Women in Standards supports the professional development of its members. Here are a few positions currently available at standards developing organizations: SDO/Org individual members can post job vacancies, calls for committee members, and manage all listings from their SDO/Org portal. Don't miss out, register today as an SDO member.

Visit the Women in Standards Participant and Employment Opportunities page today, click here.
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