IEC tackle gender difference in standards development

Electronics standards agency IEC is set to launch a new online learning module to provide guidance on the development of standards that take account of gender differences.

The learning module will be aimed at standard developers looking to create so-called gender responsive standards (GRS).

IEC and ISO have already developed a guidance document produced by the ISO/IEC joint advisory group (JSAG) on GRS which will be used as the basis for the module, which will be launched during a webinar this month.

“Given the breadth and depth of standardization, there is no singular solution to ensuring that a standard is gender responsive. As such, this guidance is intended to be the first in a series of joint ISO-IEC communications, training and technical policy products on GRS," the document explains in the introduction.

The module will explains what GRS are and why they are necessary, IEC said. It will also provide a definition of GRS as “standards that reflect an understanding of the physical differences between men and women as well as the different gender roles, and equally addresses the different needs of women and men,” the agency said in a statement.

“It has been a real pleasure for me to join the JSAG on GRS and help develop this new online learning module,” says Ian Gardner, head of IEC Academy and capacity building. ”It should help all our standards developers ensure appropriate gender related conversations are happening during the standards development process.”