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,

This month we celebrated the most important holiday to the standardization industry – World Standards Day! And if you’re located in the United States, you may be following along as we continue the celebrations into this week at World Standards Week. This event is usually held in Washington, DC, but this year is being held as a series of virtual events.


If you haven’t yet, remember to visit the Celebrating World Standards Day 2020 page on the Women in Standards website and Share your story of how #standardsbringvalue to your day-to-day life, click here to submit your testimonial. 

This month we have a special update from IFAN, tips on building diversity in your organization, strategic planning and more. Help us build community by sharing with your network today.
Warm wishes,
Karin Athanas
Executive Officer
Women in Standards
Building an Inclusive and Diverse Environment for Success

What is the default gender that can be used to refer to all people? Should there be one? That question took center stage this month as we saw Germany face this issue head on when a group of lawmakers introduced legislation that used exclusively feminine pronouns when referring to people.
In Germany, generally accepted practice has been to use the masculine form of a word as the default and so, this proposal raised more than a few concerns. In our August article entitled Inclusive Language in Standards Development, it’s noted that the language used “will determine whether the reader can see themselves performing those same actions.” In cases where the masculine is used as the default and an individual does not identify as male, it can have the negative affect of discouraging individuals from pursuing or seeing themselves in those roles.

Similar proposals are popping up around the world including the United States where just this month the Westlake, Ohio Charter Review Commission submitted a proposal to remove gender-specific language from the city's charter. The charter currently refers as the default to the masculine form of all positions. The proposal would revise this language to be gender neutral.
How can standards organizations get involved in ensuring their staff and members can see themselves performing the roles and activities described in organization policies and procedures? 

Visit the Women in Standards website, Click here, to learn how.


Helpful Links for Developing Diversity & Inclusion

Develop a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative 

3 Steps to Sustainable Initiatives 

8 Best Practices for Changing Your Culture 

Creating an Effective Diversity and Inclusion Program 

Guide for Nonprofit Organizations to Achieving Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace 
Strategic Planning 101
Getting your plan in order

It’s that time of year again when organizations reevaluate their wins and losses and set the stage for the next year. This might include reviewing metrics, surveying members, evaluating the competition, and setting goals for the year ahead. In this article we’ll explore the top strategic planning must do items and how to execute effectively.
Reach out to Members
It’s easy to say, I like chocolate so everyone will like chocolate. But does everyone like chocolate and will they like it all the time? While you might have a strong grasp of your membership and their wants and needs a membership satisfaction survey is a simple tool for checking in with your membership and seeing what is important to them. The added benefit is they’ll know you care and are wanting to ensure their enjoyment.
Verify the Numbers
The same holds true for any perceptions you might have about the success of the organization. If you reached your annual goal and bring in a 10% increase in membership, that’s great. But if the competition is bigger, nimbler, and brought in a 30% increase in their membership, than any small wins on your end won’t make you competitive. Include in your strategic planning a review of the market and any like competitors and set goals to help you meet or exceed them in a benefit that would be valuable to your members.
Spell out the How
Setting goals is great, now you know where the finish line is. But how are you going to get there? What strategies are you going to use? And how will you know when you’ve made it? Answering these questions creates the intention for your staff, they can see the vision and that you’ve created a way to get there. Work with your Board, executive staff, and others to identify the programs, changes, and steps you can take throughout the year to reach established goals.
Once you have your strategic plan and strategy in place, be transparent with staff and provide opportunities for them to share their ideas and feedback. Great ideas can come from a multitude of places and so ensure you provide staff with ways to make suggestions to help the company reach its goals.
And in closing, it’s easy to get distracted and stop focusing on the plan. Emergencies will pop up, the holidays will cause distractions, it’s easy to lose sight of the goal. Performing quarterly (or more often as needed) check-ins will help keep everyone on track, focused, and working towards the same goals.
Standards - What are they?

A standard is an agreement. An agreement between a group or people, organizations, governments, or others. It can be informal or formal, verbal or written, generally accepted or mandated by some power – government, commercial, or otherwise. Things they might agree on include:
  • How to do something
  • What something should look like
  • How to evaluate something
What are other types of standards? Visit the Women in Standards website, Click here, to learn more.
Introducing IFAN to Women in Standards

IFAN, the International Standards Users Network, is an independent, non-profit-making international association.  Membership is comprised of national standards users’ groups, companies, professional and trade associations, and governmental agencies, all concerned with the use of standards.  IFAN also has several associated members who have been given associate membership by the Board for their work for IFAN.

Click here for full article
Celebrating World Standards Day – Join the WiS the morning of Oct 22 for a webinar on IEC standardization, and meet back up that same night for networking and fun at the SES WSD social event.
New ASTM International Standard Will Help with Safety of Connected Consumer Products

A new ASTM International standard will help ensure the safety of connected consumer products, including the Internet of Things:  physical objects, embedded with sensors, software and other technologies that enable connectivity. The standard will be used to test and evaluate connected consumer products to prevent cybersecurity vulnerabilities and weaknesses that could compromise safety-related performance and create a safety hazard.
ASTM’s consumer products committee (F15) developed the standard (F3463). 
“In the development of products capable of being connected through a network such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, designers need to take steps to ensure that safety hazards are not introduced to the product by nature of its connectivity,” says ASTM International member Don Mays, chief safety and quality officer, Samsung Electronics America. “The new standard will help stakeholders take into consideration best practices for safety assurance.”
According to Mays, manufacturers, conformity assessment laboratories, regulatory agencies, retailers, and consumers will all benefit from the new standard. Mays also notes that all interested parties are welcome to join the committee in planning future improvements to the standard as connected products become more prevalent.
Just in time for World Standards Week

Women in Standards has designed a set of four static and two animated virtual meeting backgrounds for use by our members. To download your backgrounds, sign into the Women in Standards website and visit the Members Resources page.
Sponsor the WiS
Women in Standards members, send your community updates to to have them included in an upcoming issue of the Women in Standards ENewsletter!

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. 
Networking from Home
A Guide to Virtual Networking

According to 2019 data from Statista, $3,360 billion has been spent on technology worldwide.” [1] That’s millions of people around the world using technology to buy products, communicate with friends and family, and work (many of them remotely). The growing use of technology to live our daily lives also means that we have a whole new population of potential contacts as our footsteps, if only we can find the right way to reach them.
In person networking events are great and they shouldn’t fall to the wayside but consider these ideas for broadening your reach and meeting new people that you might not have met if you limited yourself to in person events.
Speak to the Masses
A great to meet others and have them meet you is speaking at events. Everyone has skills and experience they can speak to and share with others and doing so will bring you needed visibility and opportunities to meet others. Reach out to organizations you work with often and offer to give a presentation. Not confident in your speaking abilities? Reach out to a friend or group of friends to help you practice. The Toastmasters is a well-known group with chapters all over the world that provide opportunities to practice your public speaking in a welcoming environment. To get started check out these tips from Toastmasters on enhancing your presentation skills.
Coffee Breaks
Not ready for public speaking? Try reaching out to a friend and propose a meetup online to share a coffee catch up. Offer to invite someone they’d be interested in meeting and vice versa. You can catch up with friends and meet someone new in a casual atmosphere. This strategy also works well when following up with people you just met. Just make sure you use an online platform that will work well for both you.
Use Social Media Effectively
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more are a new avenue for meeting new people and keeping in contact with colleagues and friends. Wish someone a happy work anniversary, share an article you think they’d like, and respond to their posts so they know you’re listening. It can sometimes feel like you’re posting into the darkness and so your comments can make a real difference to your colleagues when they see you’ve read what they wrote and are engaging them in discussion. Not ready for something so public? Send a quick text message and then follow-up later by proposing a call or virtual coffee.
Virtual events
Organizations have really stepped up the plate and are offering a bevy of opportunities for people to learn and network. Consider inviting a friend to attend and event with you and then set up a private chat channel to communicate while you attend various presentations and webinars. Meet someone new? Invite them to join the chat channel while at the event or use the provided event platform to communicate with other attendees.
The added benefit of using technology to expand your networking opportunities. You save time travelling from place to place, save money on transportation and food and beverage, and you get to meet people from around the world rather than being limited by who was in town and able to attend.  If you haven’t tried one of the above yet, pick one to try this week and let us know how it went! Email your story to
[1] Industry Today, The Growth of Technology
Are These Habits Killing Your Productivity?

Time is money, as the saying goes. And in standards, time can mean the difference between an effective, well-reasoned standard, and a dud. In 2020, ‘time constraints’ was identified by standards developers as the biggest deterrent keeping individuals from participating in standards. [1]
While standards developers continue to seek out ways to modify and streamline processes, the time needed to develop a standard start to finish still averages about 3 years. [2] Standards developers are also seeking ways to maximize the time they have with members, minimize disruptions, and cut time wasting practices.
However, there are small changes individual participants can make as well to help speed up the process and save time. 

Visit the Women in Standards website, Click here, to learn how.
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