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An enthusiastic network of individuals who provide support, resources, and mentoring to promote business and personal growth.


Members and friends,

This month in standards we explore the important role standards contributors play in developing strong standards and ways to attract new volunteers to the standards development process.
Standards professionals have a difficult job, engaging with a variety of individuals with different needs and expectations and assisting them in navigating the standards development process. Women in Standards wants to help and that’s why we’ve partnered with the Society for Standards Professionals to identify the competencies that will help contributors go from good to great. Want to help? Join the Women in Standards education committee or submit a job description to Women in Standards today.
Women in Standards will be speaking at the upcoming SES conference August 5-6, 2020. Register today, it’s free! And don’t forget to reserve your spot for the Women in Standards webinar on “Navigating Change in Times of Uncertainty,” 24 September 2020.
Warm wishes,
Karin Athanas
Executive Officer
Women in Standards
Attracting Consumer Input in Product Design and Development

“A consumer with accurate information, effective protection and solid rights – both online and offline – is a powerful force for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals” – a thoughtful statement summarizing opinions from experts attending the recent United Nations’ Trade and Development (UNCTAD) annual global forum on consumer issues this past July 8 and 9. [1]
Consumers and other users involved in the standards development process play a critical role in raising issues of sustainability, usability, and resiliency in the product design and development process. However, a review of standards developers in a Women in Standards Survey entitled “Inclusion in Standards: A Survey of US ANSI-Accredited Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs)” (to be published July 28, 2020) indicates that standards developers struggle to attract consumers to the standards development process.
As indicated by experts at the UNCTAD annual global forum, consumers with accurate information can be a powerful force. Standards developers indicated that providing consumers with education on standards development to ensure they have the tools needed to be effective was also a struggle.
One agency, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has established an office of Consumer Obudsman to provide support to serve “as a resource for consumers, consumer advocacy organizations, victims, victim-advocates and other non-regulated stakeholders as they interact with CPSC” and to provide “a consumer perspective to the agency.” [2]
ANSI, the U.S. National Standards Body, is also working to better understand and offer support to consumers through their Consumer Interest Forum (CIF) which “works to facilitate the representation of consumer interests in voluntary standards.” [3]
Furthering this work and as a follow-up to its soon-to-be-published study, Women in Standards and SES: Society for Standards Professionals, recently announced their partnership to develop a library of job descriptions and competencies for standards professionals and contributors to support the industry, stakeholders, and to help in the identification of education needs. Women in Standards is also actively participating on the ISO-IEC Joint Strategic Advisory Group (JSAG) on Gender Responsive Standards and its education and events committees are organizing upcoming discussions on issues of inclusion and participation in standards.
It’s hoped that through the combined efforts of these groups and many more working on projects to support consumers as they engage in standards development, that their valuable insights and contributions can and will better standards development and bring important issues of resiliency and sustainability to the forefront.  As further work and progress is announced, Women in Standards will keep its membership informed and welcome participation from all stakeholders.  

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The Role of Scientific Research in Standards Development    
Ensuring repeatability and Reproducibility

The phrase, “measure twice, cut once,” isn’t just for carpenters. Researchers repeat this exercise countless times in a lifetime. The important role research and development (R&D) plays in standards development is hard to quantify because it is such an ingrained and necessary step in the process.

Click here to continue reading (members-only)
2020 July Women in Standards Happy Hour
Members met up on July 9th for networking and Q&A hosted by Women in Standards. Karen Reczek, Vice President of the Women in Standards Board, led the group through a series of 'get-to-know-you' and standards related questions. When asked what images come to mind when thinking of standards development, responses included projectors, laptops, conference rooms and a few fun responses - I'm sure you can guess a few! 

A fun one for our members, attendees were asked what 'process' they used when trying to describe standards development to non-standards friends, family, and new contacts. Among the top answers? Stringing Christmas lights, shoe sizes, and the well-known peanut butter & jelly example. What's your go-to? Share it with us via twitter (@WiStandards) or post to the Facebook group
Women in Standards Board News
The Women in Standards Board held a virtual meeting this past week to review Q2 reports and plans for fall 2020. During the meeting, Veronica Lancaster received a warm welcome as the newest member to the Board. Veronica serves as the Member Representative on the board for a term of three years. During the meeting Executive Officer and Board President Karin Athanas presented the Q2 metrics and achievements. The Board approved three Women in Standards standing committees and each have now been added to the website with link to join. All members are welcome to use the quick sign up form to add their names and begin supporting the organization’s activities.
Upcoming events including publication of the Women in Standards Survey entitled “Inclusion in Standards: A Survey of US ANSI-Accredited Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs)” (to be published July 28, 2020), presentation at the upcoming SES conference, and virtual webinars and panel sessions were also discussed. Keep an eye on the Women in Standards Events Page for links to register.
Volunteer Today!
Interested in presenting in a webinar or future panel discussion? Women in Standards is seeking speakers to discuss the following topics.
Member engagement
Building consensus
Stakeholder outreach strategies
Using social media
Meeting facilitation
Or suggest a topic

To volunteer please use our Presenter Submission Form, click here.
Updates from our Members

New Project Underway on a Vital Signs Toolkit
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)’s R11 Health, Fitness and Wellness Committee recently launched a new project to develop CTA-2101, Vital Signs Toolkit. This toolkit will provide best practices for measurement and tracking of vital signs by remote patient monitoring solutions, including consumer wellness devices. The toolkit where appropriate will point to industry standards for accuracy metrics. Work has initiated to provide additional scope and direction for this toolkit to include metrics addressed and types of resources provided. For additional information or to get involved, contact Kerri Haresign.

Attend the HL7 FHIR Connectathon September 9-11. The Virtual FHIR Connectathon is three days of hands-on FHIR development and testing. Click here to visit their event page.

New Project Launched to help Consumers Pair Loudspeakers with Amplifiers
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)’s CTA’s R3 Audio Systems Committee recently launched a new project to develop a standard that describes how to determine the maximum output capability of loudspeakers, subwoofers, and amplifiers intended for use in consumer/residential applications. The standard will also describe how to determine the appropriate crossover frequency region for and between loudspeakers and subwoofers. The derive measurement data derived from the standard can determine the potential performance of loudspeakers and amplifiers and can be used by manufacturers for marketing purposes. Participants are being sought, specifically including those who acquire in-home audio equipment (users). For additional information, please contact Leslie King.
Become a Women in Standards Sponsor
  • Promote your organization 
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This is an amazing time for the organization, events are planned through the rest of 2020 and the Women in Standards Survey entitled “Inclusion in Standards: A Survey of US ANSI-Accredited Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs)” will be published July 28, 2020. Sign-up today to be a Women in Standards sponsor, click here.

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Establishing Work-Life Boundaries

Working from home shouldn’t mean you’re always working
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic that begin in 2019 and took over the work-life balance of employees in 2020-2021, remote work, working-from-home, and virtual meetings were becoming a regular part of an employee’s work schedule. While plenty of employees have indicated positive outcomes of not needing to commute to work, more relaxed work attire, and better options for healthy food. Ensuring balanced between work and life continues to be a struggle for many.
Office employees show up to work, spend 8 hours answering or returning calls and emails and then head home for personal time with friends and family. Some employees also have work-issued mobile phones, but also turn-off or silence them upon returning home each day (at least we hope so!). In today’s climate of virtual meetings and remote work, the workday’s established hours have shifted. Some employees are taking an hour for lunch to run errands, feed children, or take a break.
Calls and emails taken outside normal work hours is extending the workday. Some employees handle the shift back and forth between work and homelife easily, other struggle to stop focusing on work and allow time for personal time. [1] Establishing alarms to separate work time from personal time or physical spaces for performing work that can be ‘left behind’ when the work-day ends can help employees’ better structure their days and ensure they are allowing time to relax and refocus.
Space has also become a topic for debate and inquiry. Virtual meetings have become so versatile, managers can hop into a meeting from their cars, anywhere in their house, or while sitting outside. A plus for the busy worker, but this newfound flexibility comes with its pitfalls. Taking calls while driving is not recommended and talking outdoors or in high traffic areas increases noise on the line and makes it difficult for other participants to hear and engage in discussion.  While having the flexibility to call from anywhere is great, ensuring you select a location that is quiet and where you’ll be able to focus and respond to questions is critical. [2]
Run out of paper? Just run to the office supply cabinet to grab another ream and put it in the printer. Easy? Not so much when working from home. The good news is employers are stepping up to pay employees to set up home offices and reimburse for supplies. CNBC reports that “Companies are paying for their remote employees’ desks, chairs and computers and are instituting regular allowances for WiFi and phone costs.” [3] Companies are also beginning to evaluate providing allowances to cover office supplies such as paper, pens, and other day-to-day needs. Whether your office does or does not cover these expenses, it’s a good idea to keep track of what you’re spending and when. This could be used by your organization in the future to develop a monthly stipend plan, help you better a plan to the office to collect supplies, or you can seek out options for reimbursement on your next IRS income tax filing.
What other effects it the Pandemic having on the workforce? Check out this article from Harvard Business Review on “Building Work Life Boundaries in the WFH Home Era.” [4] And this article from ComputerWorld “The New Normal: Lenovo study offers insights into work productivity.” [5]
Ethical Leadership in Standards Development

A commitment to setting and complying with organizational values or industry codes sets the tone for employees. This level of Ethical Leadership has raised in national visibility the last few years but is not well understood. In fact, it’s recommended that you first make a list of all the thinks you wouldn’t do, before attempting to place a label such as ‘ethics’ onto it. And this can make for a very engaging team building (if you’re looking for ideas.)

Click here to continue reading (members-only)
Open positions with Standards Developing Organizations: Women in Standards SDO members can post jobs and calls for committee members through the Women in Standards members-only portal. Not an SDO member? Click here to join 
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