In August 2022, UL Standards & Engagement signed the Declaration for Gender-Responsive Standards and Standards Development from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, underscoring its commitment to publishing gender-responsive standards and achieving greater gender balance, representation, and inclusion in its standards development process. The UNECE Declaration aims to provide “a practical framework for standards bodies seeking to make the standards they develop, and the standards development process they follow, gender responsive.”
According to the 2022 guidance document, Gender Responsive Standards, published jointly by the International Electrotechnical Commission and the International Organization for Standardization, “Gender responsive standards are developed with consideration of how gender impacts the content, requirements, and application of standards. They ensure that both women’s and men’s needs, experiences, and concerns are an integral dimension in the design and performance of the product, process, or service undergoing standardization. In sum, a gender responsive standard is a standard that reflects an understanding of physical differences and gender roles, and equally addresses the needs of women and men.”
These differences could include criteria such as body fat percentage, peripheral vision, sensitivity to sound, pain tolerance, hormones, and various strength characteristics such as upper-body strength and grip strength.
The ULSE Gender Action Plan
As a next step in its commitment to the UNECE Declaration, ULSE launched its Gender Action Plan and pledged to track its progress through collecting and sharing data, success stories and good practices. The Main pillars of the gender action plan are as follows:
• Increase gender diversity in our standards development process
• Improve understanding and technical applicability of standards requirements across genders
• Educate standards development professionals and stakeholders on the importance and impact of developing gender-responsive standards
• Create guidance for standards authors on the development of gender-responsive standards
ULSE is committed to being an inclusive and impactful organization. Be sure to look for more developments and updates as we work to ensure inclusiveness across our standards portfolio and expand our reach and influence by connecting with key stakeholders.
A gender-responsive standard is one that “reflects an understanding of physical differences and gender roles, and equally addresses the needs of women and men.”
ULSE signed the UNECE Declaration for Gender-Responsive Standards and Standards Development in August 2022
Through its Gender Action Plan, ULSE is working track its progress through collecting and sharing data, success stories and good practices
Growing Women in STEM. A CES 2024 Panel Discussion
On January 9-12, 2024, at ULSE's Sonya Bird and Denice Durrant participated in a CES 2024 panel discussion on how growing the number of women in STEM fields increases the potential number of women in standards, having a direct and critical impact on safety.
The Case for Gender-Responsive Standards
For most of their history, the standards that underpin how consumer electronics are designed and developed were written by men. The result of this, say experts, is an unconscious bias in standards development that has overlooked the needs of women and other gender groups. Standards agencies are...
Why standards must become gender responsive
The IEC and ISO are working to make their standards more gender responsive. One of the founding members of the joint strategic advisory committee on gender responsive standards (JSAG-GRS), Sonya Bird, underlines the challenges ahead and why GRS standards are one of the ways for the IEC to help...
The ULSE Gender Action Plan
At UL Standards & Engagement, we are committed to developing gender-responsive standards and achieving greater gender balance, representation, and inclusion in our standards development process. As the next step in our commitment, we developed a gender action plan to support the achievement...
Helping Protect Female Firefighters From Shock Hazards With UL 3741
Our Standard for safety for photovoltaic hazard control addresses safety principles and processes for evaluating rapid shutdown photovoltaic arrays that can help protect firefighters from shock hazards on homes and buildings with solar panels. Read how this Standard was developed to provide...
Discussing Gender-Responsive Standards at the Congressional Women in STEM Caucus
ULSE Vice President of International Standards Sonya Bird met with the leaders of the U.S. Congressional Women in STEM Caucus for a bipartisan panel discussion dedicated to advancing the important role women in STEM play in driving innovation and furthering scientific enterprise.