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Trump just signed two bills that aim to increase the amount of women in STEM careers

On Tuesday, President Trump signed two bills that give NASA and the National Science Foundation the ability to encourage more women to enter STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields: the INSPIRE Act and the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act

Did you know that only 25 percent of women with STEM degrees actually work in STEM careers? While women make up roughly 47 percent of the workforce, only 25.6 percent of computer and mathematical occupations and 15.4 percent of architecture and engineering occupations are held by females. At the signing, Trump said "It's unacceptable that we have so many American women who have these degrees but yet are not being employed in these fields." 

The INSPIRE Act (which stands for Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers and Explorers) is a plan for NASA to allow "current and retired astronauts, scientists, engineers and innovators, including early career female astronauts, scientists, engineers and innovators" to engage with students of all ages and encourage them to enter STEM careers. They will do so by supporting NASA GIRLS and NASA BOYS, Aspire to Inspire and Summer Institute in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Research.

The second law is the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act. As stated in the act, "studies have shown that technology and commercialization ventures are successful when women are in top management positions." This bill amends the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act to authorize the National Science Foundation to encourage its entrepreneurial programs to recruit and support women to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world. "We need policies that help support women in the workforce," Trump said on Tuesday, "and that's really very much going to be addressed by my administration over the years."

These laws are a major win for women across the country, and especially important to us this Women's History month. Just over a month ago, the Women's March on Washington advocated for equal rights for all women, so it's awesome to see legislation take a step in that direction.

What do you think of these new laws? Have you ever thought about entering a STEM career? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments.

Photo credit: Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images

by Julia Bonney | 3/4/2017
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