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Views: Leaders on standards and gender equality

March 8, 2021

Views: Leaders on standards and gender equality

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Standardization is a powerful catalyst for reducing gender inequality and building a more inclusive society. From standards development organizations (SDOs), to industry bodies, to technical committees at the international level, SCC and its vast network are at the forefront of advancing the development and use of gender responsive standards.

Leaders and advocates in the field share their insights.


Dr. Mkabi Walcott

Vice-President, Standards and International Relations at SCC

“National and international standards development contributes to meeting United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 5, which aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. By including women in developing the content of standards and engaging them in the standardization process, we continue to build on our progress to support this Goal.

In my role as Vice President of Standards and International Relations at SCC, I am proud to reaffirm our commitment to creating an environment that fosters gender inclusivity, equality and empowers more women and girls to access the benefits of standards development.”


Mary Cianchetti

Chair of Standards Development Organizations Advisory Committee (SDOAC) and President, Standards, CSA Group

“Issues impacting society are growing increasingly complex. Environment and climate change, workplace safety and cybersecurity to name just a few, are issues that affect us all. Standardization solutions are rising to meet these challenges, but it is imperative that those who rely on these standards, see themselves equally reflected and represented in them.

As Chair of SDOAC, I am proud of the work SDOs are undertaking to challenge the status quo and open the lens on gender responsiveness in standards that influence the products and services we use and the environment in which we live. Whether through ground-breaking standards that address the safety, health, and security of women or proactive recruitment of more gender inclusive standards setting bodies, we are working together to develop and promote standardization that is reflective of who we are.”


Gurvinder Chopra

VP-Standards & Regulation
Electro-Federation Canada

“It is very important for all stakeholders, including women and men, to participate in the standards development and revision process. If we do not include everyone, we are ignoring a talent pool, we are not getting perspective of all, and standards may not be construed as complete. To promote gender equality, EFC has taken various steps including starting a Women’s network with three core strategic pillars, Professional Development, Empowerment and Lifestyle, which will help women employees of our member organizations in championing their professional careers and personal lives.”


Channa S. Perera

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Best Practices
Canadian Electricity Association (CEA)

“As a father of a young daughter and as a policy leader in the electricity industry, I have a tremendous responsibility to work toward gender equity and equality in Canada. We need to be ‘intentional’ about advancing gender equity and equality in our workplaces, and industry leaders, governments and other stakeholders must work together to make that a reality. I feel privileged to champion this issue within the electricity industry and I look forward to working with colleagues, member companies and other partners to identify initiatives and programs that would further advance gender equity and equality in the years ahead.”



Shawn Paulsen

Chair of the IEC Council Board Task force on Diversity

“Diversity is an important initiative at IEC and as such the Council Board agreed in 2019 to establish a new Task Force on Diversity. The focus of the Task Force is to consider three key areas of diversity, including Gender, Geographic and Stakeholder diversity. The Task Force, being very diverse itself, has held meetings to develop an overall Diversity Statement for IEC as well as separate Statements for each of the three key areas. Also, the Task Force has developed Action Plans for each area that will help guide IEC moving forward. For example, in our Gender Action Plan we are looking to enhance awareness of the participation of women at all levels of IEC, talking with women participating in IEC work to understand their experiences, and develop a communication strategy on gender diversity.”



Elias Rafoul

Vice-President, Accreditation Services at SCC

“For conformity assessments to be aligned with Canadians’ needs, the accreditation industry must include women and people with diverse backgrounds. It is important to continue to challenge organizations with initiatives such as the 50-30 challenge to increase the representation and inclusion of diverse groups. Accreditation programs and services are more valuable if they serve all members of Canadian society.”


SCC is proud to leverage our national and international networks to build a more diverse and inclusive society. Participation in technical committees empowers experts to shape tomorrow’s gender-responsive standards. Find new opportunities to get involved in standards development.