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Gender, digitalization, environment: ensuring a sustainable future for all

Gender, digitalization, environment: ensuring a sustainable future for all

08 June 2022 10:00 - 17:00

Standards are extensively used by regulators to set benchmarks for products and services while facilitating trade in line with the objectives of the World Trade Organization. Beyond that, standards are used extensively by organizations to make products, services and processes better, safer and more sustainable and certification to standards helps consumers to better understand what they are getting for their money. However, in the setting of these standards there is generally no process to ensure that the objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda SDG 5 for equality of women and girls is achieved. The Gender-Responsive Standards Initiative (GRSI) of WP.6 was established to provide guidance, relevant resources and reporting progress to guide standards development bodies to ensure that future standards are gender-responsive and thereby give confidence to regulatory agencies that the use of standards will achieve the objective of UN SDG 5.

During this annual session meetings of the GRSI, we took stock of good practices in gender action plans of standards development bodies in order to promote peer learning and identification of solutions which can be replicated. The initiative will designate a champion model solution and showcase it on its website for the coming period.

In the afternoon (Geneva-time), the GRSI had a panel discussion on the theme of digitalization, the environment and the importance of gender in creating a fair and sustainable future for all. The pressing nature of climate change has started to become the primary imperative for organizations, sometimes at cost of gender equality. We discussed the interconnections between digitalization, environment and gender and examine why they need to be linked. If we move towards a future where gender has not been taken into consideration, we risk creating a future which has not fully benefitted from women’s contribution, continues to leave women behind and which does not achieve optimal results with regards to sustainability. We also looked at green technologies, such as hydrogen cars and/or artificial intelligence, and assessed what is being done and who it is for and whether a gender dimension has been included.

For additional information, please consult the event flyer here.

General agenda

10:00-11:00      Administrative (examining PoW 2022, achievements, what needs further work, PoW 2023, preparing report for the WP.6 Annual session)

14:00-17:00      Panel discussion “Gender, digitalization, environment: ensuring sustainable future for all”

  • Moderator: Stephanie Eynon, Head of Standards - Makers Engagement & Inclusion, British Standards Institution (BSI) & Lead of ECE-WP.6 GRSI


Panel 1: Setting the Scene: The intersection of standards with gender, digitalization, and the environment

Panel 1 will examine the interconnections between digitalization, gender, the environment and standards, and debate how these fields are linked and what further might be needed. Panellists will further explore the implications of rapid digitalization and the implications of adopting gender-responsive standards.

  • Amelia Andersdotter - Founder,; former standards expert ARTICLE19
  • Ilaria Mariotti - Lead author of UNDP’s guidance "Gender Equality in Digitalization" [PPT]
  • Pamela Tarif - Head of Global Engagement, Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS) [PPT]
  • Alyson Fick - Manager, Technical Committee Operations (TCO) Division, ASTM International [PPT]


Panel 2: Closing the Digital Divide: How standards can strengthen digital literacy and improve access to digital technologies  

Panel 2 will discuss the important role of standards in improving access and use of digital technologies. Panellists will examine the many determinants of women’s digital exclusion and the need for standards to drive innovative solutions.

  • Dr. Katriona O'Sullivan - Lecturer of Digital Skills in the ALL (Assisting Living & Learning) Institute, Department of Psychology, Maynooth University [PPT]
  • Alice de Casanove - Culture Evolution, Intrapreneurship Director, Airbus North America at Airbus; Founder and former chair of the ISO TC 279 on innovation management [PPT]
  • Erlend Øverby - CEO/Founder, Hypatia Learning; Former Chair, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 36 Information Technology for Learning, Education and Training
  • Prof. Katina Michael - Arizona State University, Chair of the 2089-2021 Standard Working Group, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) [PPT]


Panel 3: Gender bias in advanced technologies: The important role of standards in reshaping the digital future for all

Panel 3 will identify potential risks posed by the encoding of gender biases in new technologies and how advanced technologies, in the absence of women’s participation in the digital space, may compound existing socio-economic challenges. Panellists will discuss the potential of standards to drive social and economic outcomes for women.

  • Mai Mavinkurve - VP, Data at TradeX; Chief Technology Advisor, Innovate Cities; Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) [PPT]
  • Nikki Böhler - Managing Director, [PPT]
  • Dr. Allison Gardner - Senior Scientific Adviser for AI at NICE; Honorary Senior Research Fellow Keele University; Co-founder Women Leading in AI
  • Marianna Kramarikova - Technical Officer, International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) [PPT]
26661 _ Meeting report _ 369253 _ English _ 773 _ 357999 _ pdf