In an effort to help develop a definition of a women-owned business, and guidance for how the definition can be used in practice across businesses, governments and international initiatives, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) encourages its stakeholders to submit feedback on an International Workshop Agreement (IWA) proposal. The IWA proposal was recently circulated to the Technical Management Board of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
SIS, the ISO member for Sweden, released the IWA draft proposal on women-owned businesses, which aims to lower entry barriers for women business owners to public and private procurement opportunities, increase their access to capacity-building program and incentive schemes, and reduce certification costs for supplier diversity programs.
In establishing a commonly agreed upon definition of a "women-owned business," an IWA may ultimately inspire a broader discussion and additional efforts towards further standardization work on gender equality and related topics, the proposal asserts. Over time, a standard definition could facilitate the collection of internationally comparable data on women's entrepreneurship and the impact on local and national economies.
All interested U.S. parties are invited to review the proposal, which features related existing ISO/work and relevant affected stakeholders. Submit comments to Steven Cornish, ANSI senior director of international policy and strategy, at [email protected] by close of business on Friday, July 26, 2019. ANSI is the U.S. member body to ISO.