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 included an engaging panel discussion on etiquette in standards from leaders in the standards industry, an interactive happy hour where attendees played Scattegories™ with a standards theme, and in a few days we will welcome Mary Lou Meddaugh who will be speaking on embracing change and making and executing a change plan. This webinar is part of the Women in Standards professional development series. Click here to register.
Has your organization experienced success with a new approach to member on-boarding? Share your lessons learned by volunteering to speak during an upcoming Women in Standards panel discussion. 

If you would like to speak at an upcoming event or support the organization’s development of educational contact, contact or visit the website for more info.
Warm wishes,
Karin Athanas
Executive Officer
Women in Standards
Facilitating Difficult Discussions

Conflict is a necessary evil in standards development. When discussing important topics, people are going to disagree on:
  1. What the problem is.
  2. What solution or solutions will work best; and
  3. And how to get about reaching a solution.
Use facilitation techniques such as identifying facts, listening to each other, and testing solutions to help your committees come to agreement.
Click here to keep reading (members only - click here to register)

Helpful Links for Handing Difficult Conversations

Handbook for Facilitating Difficult Conversations in the Classroom 

Facilitating Difficult Discussions

Guidelines for Discussing Difficult or High-Stakes Topics 

11 Ways to Facilitate Great Conversations 

Techniques for Leading Group Discussions 
Group Approach to Finding Solutions

Leaning on Your Team to Help you Brainstorm

Group brainstorming can be incredibly beneficial for finding solutions and developing ideas in greater depth than you can with individual brainstorming. [1] To get started, identify the question you’re hoping to answer or the problem you’re looking to solve. This process works for a wide range of challenges both personal and professional.
Once you have your question or problem firmly defined – identify your team. This can be an assigned committee, groups of affected stakeholders, work colleagues from different departments and levels of management. Whatever the structure of your team, ensure they all understand the question or problem you’ve identified. If needed, provide additional information as needed to ensure they fully understand the issue.
Encourage a free flow of ideas from the team, no ideas too silly or outlandish! Use group sketching, story boarding, and more to develop a as many ideas as you can. [2] It can be uncomfortable for some to propose untested ideas or suggestions they aren’t sure about, create a safe space for participants by encouraging them to be open and supportive of each other’s’ ideas. Have them first suggest the most ridiculous ideas possible and use this to set the tone for the discussion, allowing for a free flow of discussion and creative suggestions.
Another approach is to ask your team to identify the different ways they might create the issue or problem you’re trying to solve. How many ways can they creatively create the same issue? This approach is called ‘reverse brainstorming’ and can lead to some interesting solutions based on the causes identified. Rather than reacting to the issue and creating a onetime fix, reverse brainstorming can help dig to the root of the issue and help find lasting solutions. [3]
And finally, provide a comfortable and nutrient rich environment. Snacking can support creative expression, as can music, and creative environments Consider including these in your workspace to help attendees brainstorm. [4]
Virtual Panel on “Etiquette in Standards Development, Encouraging Discussion without Disdain”

On September 9, 2020, the Women in Standards brought together standards experts to hold a virtual panel on issues relevant to the industry. The focus of this panel was a discussion of the role standards development professionals play in ensuring committee members act respectfully during meetings and how standards development organizations can support their work by establishing rules of etiquette and codes of conduct.
Our panelists for this discussion included experts from a range of industries with unique experiences of working within committees and addressing issues of behavior and etiquette.
  • Vicki Worden, President & CEO -- Green Building Initiative
  • Alyson Fick, Manager, Technical Committee Operations Division, ASTM
  • Jodi Araujo, CEO --NADCA: The HVAC Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Association, otherwise known as the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA)
Codes of Conduct, Robert's Rules, and training for members were identified as successful strategies for ensuring collaborative and positive discussions among members as well as an established enforcement mechanism that is well-understood by all.
A full summary of the panel including the recording will be posted to the Women in Standards Website shortly. Check out the events page and register for our upcoming events or volunteer to present a webinar or speak on an upcoming panel.
Opportunity at GBI to Support Standards Development

The Green Building Initiative (GBI), a nonprofit organization and ANSI Accredited Standards Developer (ASD), is seeking an individual to join their Standards Committee. The GBI is seeking an individual with significant consensus standards experience as a volunteer to join this six (6) member body to guide staff and GBI’s Board of Directors on further development of GBI’s programs undergoing consensus review processes. The body consists of three GBI Board members and three stakeholders. Membership in GBI is not a requirement. Selection criteria is based on knowledge of best practices in standards development, ability to qualify in a general interest or user category according to GBI’s consensus procedures (sorry we cannot accept Producer category participants on this committee), and interest in supporting GBI’s mission to accelerate adoption of green building best practices. This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience on a Standing Committee of an ENGO. In addition to oversight responsibilities, the Standards Committee also hears appeals and adjudicates code of conduct issues. The Committee meets virtually quarterly or as needed.
Please indicate your interest and submit a brief bio to Emily Marx, GBI Manager of Standards and Program Support, at Feel free to contact Emily with any questions about the role. For more information on GBI and its standards’ activities go to
Committee Updates

This past week the Women in Standards Inclusiveness in Standards Committee held it's kick-off meeting. Main topics of discussion included: 
  • Update on Women in Standards' work on the Joint Strategic Advisory Group (JSAG) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) o develop guidance related to the development of gender responsive standards
  • Planning for the 2021 Inclusion in Standards survey of SDOs
  • Strategic planning for 2020-2021 
This week the Events Coordination Committee will meet to discuss 2021 events including the annual dinner. The Education Committee will also meet with a main point of discussion being the joint WiS - SES initiative to create a competency framework for standardization professionals and contributors. 

To learn more about the Women in Standards committees and sign up to participate, click here.
Supporting Diversity and Inclusiveness

ASTM President Katherine E. Morgan, recently published an informative articles on ASTM's efforts to address diversity and inclusiveness in their organization and standards development process. To review the full article, click here


Is your organization pursuing initiatives to increase diversity and inclusiveness? Share with Women in Standards by submitting an article, case study, or presenting during a webinar. Reach out to
Time is running out to contribute your examples to this important initiative!

Submit copies of current or previous job descriptions and calls for committee members for all different levels of positions and different functions within the standardization ecosystem.

Examples from government, industry, SDOs, conformity assessment organizations, standards product developers and resellers, and more welcome.
Click here to learn more.
Sponsor the WiS

How can Women in Standards Support your SDO? Click Here to learn more.

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

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

Gain life-long friends, champions, and mentors within the standards community. 
Coaching for Success
Growing your Team’s Skills and Opportunities

Managers enhance your coaching skills and help your staff seek out opportunities and success in their careers. You can become a superstar manager with these high value coaching strategies.
Know Your Staff
Understanding your staff’s vision of success and where they want to be in ten years is a key first step in supporting their growth. Would they like to be in management, do they want to be the go-to expert in the office, do they value personal work-life balance, are they heavily invested in social causes. Help your staff by mapping their interests and helping them to link their goals and interests into a plan for success. This could include a set of goals for the year or a multi-year plan. Consider services your organization offers and help connect your staff with those services.
Map Interests
While listening to your staff, jot down the areas of interest that they identify. Do they like speaking with customers or other staff? This could be listed as interest in others.  Do they enjoy developing plans and coordinating events? This could be listed as interest in projects. As you go, remember to relate each interest with a job skill or work requirement. This can be used to gain support from management and resources for your employee.
Develop a Plan
Work with your staff to develop a one and/or multi-year plan highlighting the skills your staff would like to further develop and the classes, books, and other steps they’ve identified that will help them attain that goal. Consider identifying opportunities you can provide them to practice and gain experience on the job using these new skills. Incorporate into the plan regular check-ins and a way to measure success.
Encourage and Praise
Praise and provide your employee with recognition for their successes and continue to encourage them during check-in meetings. Help them to identify and connect with a mentor or to establish a study group. And celebrate their successes with them when they reach important milestones.
A strong manager and coach can supercharge any employee’s professional development and the above steps will help you find success as a coach. Throughout the process, reevaluate with your staff and support their efforts, through praise and opportunities to practice their new skills.  And throw a party when your employee finally reaches their goal. It’s a huge accomplishment and will pay off in lifelong dividends for your staff and your team.
Achieving Career Superstar Status

Seek career success by setting your goals, establishing a plan of action, setting celebration milestones, and working it till you get there.

Whether you’re super happy with your work, or looking for something new, continuing to pursue professional development will open new doors and opportunities over time. You might fall into a new position that didn’t exist before or suddenly find yourself in the perfect position for a new job that seems created just for you.

Click here to keep reading 
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