Society

Trump Signs Laws To Help Women In STEM Fields

| by Ray Brown

President Donald Trump signed two laws on Feb. 28 that are designed to encourage and help women and girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, commonly known as STEM.

The Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act, calls on the National Science Foundation to "recruit and support women to expand their focus into the commercial world in its entrepreneurial programs," reports UPI.

The other law, the Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act, requires NASA "to encourage women and girls to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), pursue careers in aerospace, and further advance the nation's space science and exploration efforts." 

The bill supports NASA programs that encourage women and girls, including its NASA's SISTER program, and its NASA Girls and NASA boys program.

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Increasing the number of women in STEM fields has long been a goal. CNET reports that although women make up 47 percent of the workforce, they account for only 25.6 percent in computer and mathematical occupations and only 15.4 in the architecture and engineering fields.

"The toys and games that young girls play with mold their educational and career interests; they create dreams of future careers," Andrea Guendelman, co-founder of Developher, told CNN.

"Extensive research shows that certain toys and games can help young children develop the spatial logic and other analytical skills critical to science, technology, engineering and math," she added. "A huge part of the reason women are not entering these fields and huge part of the solution starts at the very beginning."

Regina Agyare, founder of Soronko, told CNN that one way to increase the number of women in STEM would be to "Introduce girls early to role models of other women In STEM."

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Trump's INSPIRE Act is designed to do just that, according to the bill's language.

On the same day that Trump signed two laws that are designed to boost the prospects for women in STEM fields, he also signed an executive order that fortified his commitment to historically black colleges and universities.

"This is a great day for my membership and a great day for America," said Lezli Baskerville, head of the National Association For Equal Opportunity in Education, an umbrella group for public, private HBCUs, reported PBS.

"You deserve far more credit than you get, and know that beginning today, this administration is committed to making sure that our historically black colleges and universities get the credit and the attention they deserve," said Vice President Mike Pence, according to Townhall. "Get ready for a great and energetic partnership in the days ahead."

Sources: CNET, UPI, Townhall, PBS, CNN / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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