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About Us 

Women in Standards is an enthusiastic network of standards professionals who provide support, resources, and mentoring to promote business and personal growth.


WiStandards members,

First let me wish you happy holidays and new year. As we approach the end of 2019, thank you for your continued contributions to the standards development community. Your efforts to enhance, improve, and innovate should be lauded and celebrated.
#TheresAStandardForThat is not an empty statement. Each day you contribute your time and efforts to develop standards to improve the industry and, in some cases, those standards are quite unusual and unique, and could only be developed by someone like you. As an example, a standard for tissue paper designed for packaging of optical instruments and other delicate supplies, DEF STAN 81-89 Revision I3, September 8, 2006, Paper, Tissue, Wrapping. Development of such a standard requires special expertise and knowledge that you have and are able to contribute.
2020 will bring new surprises and challenges and the community of the WiStandards will be there to support each other, provide advice and guidance, and to celebrate each other’s successes. What new standard will you work on? Where can you contribute where you haven’t before? What major standards project will you resolve to complete? Together, each voice can make all the difference.
Warm wishes,
Karin Athanas
WiStandards Co-Chair 
History of Standards
Standards development has origins so far into history that it predates written records. The American National Standards Institute, ANSI, includes in their review of standardization, the Calendar as being one the first examples of standardization. [1] How many of us have been informed by a scout leader, parent, or fellow student that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west? Ancient civilizations used this knowledge of the sun and stars to chart the change of the seasons and act to ensure a bountiful harvest.  
Standardization supported the advancement of science and the development of complex tools. As a once complicated process was simplified by the process of describing it, changes could be made to improve its speed, effectiveness, and expand its use to new purposes. This innovation paved the way for the industrial revolution [2], where machine replaced individual works and sped up the manufacturing process.
In the twentieth century a fourth industrial revolution is underway, that of Internet of Things and 5G technology. In World Economic Forum piece entitled ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond,’ [3] each phase of innovation is described:
“The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”
There is no doubt that WiStandards members are working on standards that will herald the fourth industrial revolution and their work will contribute in meaningful ways to the growth of new technologies.
For additional information on the history of standards, review the following resources:
East West Center -
Unusual or Unique Standards
  • ANSI ASA, S3.25-2009 (Reaffirmed 2014), American National Standard For An Occluded Ear Simulator – recognized consensus standard by the FDA
  • UL 1488 OUTLINE, Outline of Investigation for Seasonal Use Modular Trees, 3rd Edition, May 24, 2016
  • ASTM E3155 2019 Edition, January 1, 2019, Standard Guide for Assessing Mammal Health at Chemically Contaminated Terrestrial Sites Using Rodent Sperm Analysis
  • ASABE D384 2nd Edition, March 2005, Manure Production and Characteristics
  • ISO 3061 2nd Edition, March 15, 2008, Oil of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.)
  • DEF STAN 81-89 Revision I3, September 8, 2006, Paper, Tissue, Wrapping
  • Irish Standard I.S. 417: Irish Coffee
Tell the WiStandards about your unique standards, email us at
Join the Women in Standards, January 23, 2020 to celebrate, network, and discuss the exciting activities we have planned for 2020. 

Dinner will be held at Ambar
5:00 to 7:00 pm
Location: 2901 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Register now! 
Use this access code: WiStandardsMembers
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Standards News
The National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST, recently released the results of a study to examine the effects of race, age, and sex on face recognition software. A number of contributors are identified in the study as having an effect on the system’s ability to match two images as being from the same person.
Contributors identified in the study include
  • The algorithm at the heart of the system
  • The application the system uses
  • The dataset used
The need for a representative and balanced datasets and the effect they have on results is explored in Women in Standards article “Gender Inclusion in Technology” found here.
The NIST study found that “the majority of face recognition algorithms exhibit demographic differentials.” Meaning, the ability of the system to match two images from the same individual was dependent on the demographics of the individual.
The study is unique in that it’s the first to consider the algorithm’s performance as it relates to the demographics of the subject. To evaluate the algorithms, NIST used 18.27 million images, each with metadata identifying information on the subject such as age, sex, and either race or country of birth.  Experts say bias in these algorithms can be reduced by using training data sets that are more diverse. The findings provide support for some of the mounting concerns that even the most advanced facial algorithms may not be ready to be used in national security or law enforcement.
To review the study and background on its development, click here:

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. 
Success Strategies for Group Writing
There are a number of strategies employed by standards developing organizations (SDOs) when drafting new standards. In some, a draft might be submitted by an individual for consideration and the committee or oversight board approves the development of that draft into a standard.
In other cases, a working group or task group may be formed that is tasked with development of the initial draft. The full committee may also embark on the process as a group – outlining or mapping the essential elements of the standard, developing sections together or assigning the sections to specific members. [1]
Whatever the strategy, at some point, the committee must come together to finalize the final language of the standard and shepherd it through the standards process to its final publication. During this process, several strategies can be used to help the committee work together effectively.
First, clarifying the objective of the project and reiterating that objective often will help to keep the committee focused and committed to completing the objective. When discussion ceases to be collaborative, asking the committee if the discussion is supporting the objective or remind members of the objective can help clarify the issue and recalibrate the team. [2] As such, spending time to ensure a clear and specific objective is identified prior to beginning work is essential.
A strong leader or chair is also needed. The committee chair or lead works with the committee to establish the scope and objectives of the document, the strengths of each member, and a timeline for development. [3] The Chair also assists in resolving disputes and as such, it is important that the chair be well versed on committee rules, standard style guides, and receive education on conflict management and active listening.
Finally, clearly defining the roles of each committee member will help them align and understand their place within the collective. [4] Some may be highly capable editors, while others are better at brainstorming and mind mapping. Taking advantage of each members’ unique capabilities will ensure each member feels like an equal partner in the development and build a stronger final product.
Whatever strategy your committee takes, open communication with each other will help prevent confusion and strengthen the development process. Ensure you understand the process used by your organization and help others make best use of their unique capabilities. 
Employment opportunities at SCC Have an opening you'd like to share with WiStandards members? Email us at
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