Why it pays to participate in Standards - all for the good cause - Standards New Zealand's Debbie Chin

Issue 48 – April 2013

This article first appeared in ISO Focus+, March 2013. It is summarised here with permission from ISO.

Some 26 CEOs of ISO's national bodies are women. Here, Debbie Chin talks about life at the top and the role of women in standardisation.

As Chief Executive of Standards New Zealand, there is a lot I like about my job. The best part is the realisation that the Standards we develop – through our expert committees – have such a positive impact on New Zealand and New Zealanders.

It is satisfying to lead an organisation that provides products that keep homes, buildings, playgrounds, and health services safe, and help to prevent accidents and injuries; that minimise the impact of potential disasters; that improve the quality of goods and services; that help to protect the environment; and that boost economic growth and trade.

I enjoy working with our stakeholders – committee members, funders, nominating organisations, and industry – who share my appreciation of Standards and their benefits. Our expert committee members really do devote huge amounts of time, dedication, and enthusiasm to the development of national and international Standards.

It also gives me great pleasure to lead a team of 40 committed staff. Their strong belief in Standards is reflected in the high quality of their work.

My role in the international arena also gives me great satisfaction. I learn so much from my counterparts and others at events such as the ISO General Assembly, the Pacific Area Standards Congress, and the International Electrotechnology Commission's General Meeting. They too are always interested to hear of developments in New Zealand.

Of course, Standards New Zealand has a special relationship with Standards Australia, with whom we develop many joint Standards.

To women thinking of a career in standardisation, I say, 'Go for it !' Working in this field is always varied, sometimes challenging, and very rewarding. Your chosen career will enable you to have a significant and positive impact on people, organisations, and society.

Standards are constantly expanding in depth and breadth. They underpin technological progress and economic growth, and are affected by them. Nothing stands still in Standards, which gives us a dynamic and stimulating environment in which to work.

You will meet, and work with, people from many industries. Once you become immersed in this world and become more aware of the value of Standards, you will become a firm proponent too.

Because Standards are everywhere and often 'hidden', people can take them for granted. So, it's important to do what you can to convey the benefits of Standards as widely as possible.

Whichever path you take in your Standards career, you will find it worthwhile, satisfying (at least most of the time), and always interesting. Read the full story.


Published in business and ICT.