Gender-Responsive Standards
November 3, 2023

The Case for Gender-Responsive Standards

The following is an excerpt from the article "The Case for Gender Responsive Standards," in which ULSE Vice President, International Standards Sonya Bird is interviewed in the October issue of Consumer Electronics Test & Development magazine. 

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 now trying to correct this historical oversight through the development of so-called gender responsive standards (GRS).

Sonya Bird, director of international standards at UL Standards & Engagement and a member of the IEC/ISO joint strategic advisory group on GRS talks to CET&D about the issue.

For anyone who doesn't know, can you explain what are gender responsive standards (GRS)?

Gender-responsive standards are standards which acknowledge the distinct needs of different genders and take concerted action to ensure the efficacy of the standard for all. A gender responsive standard is not a separate standard for different genders, but rather a means of ensuring the impact of the standard is appropriate and provides equal benefit.

Read the Article