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House Approves Bipartisan Bills to Promote Women in Science

Press Release From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today applauds House passage of the Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act (H.R. 321), introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), and the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act (H.R. 255), introduced by Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.). The two bipartisan bills encourage more women to pursue careers in science.
 
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “I thank Congresswoman Barbara Comstock and Representative Elizabeth Esty for their work on these two bills.  The INSPIRE Act and the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act together help encourage the next generation of women to pursue careers in STEM fields like aeronautics and engineering, and translate their enthusiasm, scientific expertise and research ideas into tangible products and businesses. I have encountered motivated, talented young people who want nothing more than an opportunity to pursue their dreams and in some cases, change the world with their ideas. These bills will help support them in those endeavors.”
 
Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.): “In order to maintain our edge, we must encourage more young women to enter STEM fields. Unfortunately, current statistics show that women are less likely to focus on STEM-related studies in college. And of the women who pursue these areas of study, only 26% will ultimately work in STEM-related fields. This bill helps provide more exposure, encouragement, and opportunities for women to get on the ladder for careers at NASA and in the STEM fields.”
 
Background:

The INSPIRE Women Act authorizes the NASA Administrator to encourage women and girls to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to pursue careers that will further advance America’s space science and exploration efforts through support of initiatives like:  NASA GIRLS and NASA BOYS; Aspire to Inspire; and the Summer Institute in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Research. Such important programs are intended to encourage more young women to enter fields such as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The bill is co-sponsored by Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas).

The bipartisan Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act authorizes the National Science Foundation to use its entrepreneurial programs to recruit and support women to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world. The bill encourages the National Science Foundation to tackle the problem that only 26 percent of women who attain degrees in STEM fields work in STEM jobs. H.R. 255 is also co-sponsored by the full committee Chairman and Ranking Member.


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