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Join an International Workshop to Define a Woman-Owned Business and Guidance on Its Use


The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) invites all interested stakeholders to join a workshop to develop an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) International Workshop Agreement (IWA) on the definition of a "Woman-Owned Business" and guidance on its use. The IWA workshop will take place on April 1-3, 2020, in Stockholm, Sweden, and again on June 24-26, 2020, in Geneva, Switzerland.

What is an IWA?

An IWA is a type of document that is developed with direct participation of stakeholders outside of the traditional ISO country representation system to enable players to negotiate in an open workshop environment. After the IWA workshop, text will be edited and published.


The development of the IWA will provide a definition of a "woman-owned business" and guidance to businesses, statistical agencies, governments, and international initiatives on how to use the definition. While the IWA aims to lower entry barriers for women business owners to public and private procurement opportunities, it may ultimately spur a broader discussion and additional efforts towards further standardization work in gender equality.

The IWA stems from a proposal from the Swedish Institute for Standards (SIS). Before the workshops, participants will join two introductory web meetings in February. See the details in the SIS document.

  • For the June workshop in Switzerland, contact Anahita Vasudevan at [email protected] before May 1, 2020.


For more information, access the document: Invitation to participate in the development of ISO/IWA 34, Definition of a "Woman-Owned Business" and guidance on its use.



Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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