Klobuchar and Heller’s bills would authorize the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Administrator to encourage women to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and pursue careers in aerospace through NASA initiatives, as well as build on existing efforts by the National Science Foundation to increase women’s participation in STEM education and research by expanding those efforts to help recruit and support women in STEM fields as they commercialize their research
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) announced that their bipartisan bills to encourage, recruit and support women in STEM fields have passed the Senate and are headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Klobuchar and Heller’s bills would authorize the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator to encourage women to study STEM and pursue careers in aerospace through NASA initiatives, as well as build on existing efforts by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to increase women’s participation in STEM education and research by expanding those efforts to help recruit and support women in STEM fields as they commercialize their research.
“Women are the teachers, engineers, scientists, and inventors who will carry us into a brighter future,” said U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. “By encouraging women and tapping their talents and abilities, employers can better meet their hiring needs, and women can enjoy the benefits of well-paying jobs in STEM fields. Our bipartisan bills will help women contribute more to their families’ financial wellbeing – and the benefits help our whole economy.”
“Recently, the U.S. Senate took a step forward in recognizing the potential of tomorrow’s economy. These bills provide another avenue to encourage young women to seek a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as ensure women’s entrepreneurship and innovations succeed. These efforts will allow them to lead new advancements in technology and innovation, and make the world a better place. I’m proud to have partnered with Senator Klobuchar on these pieces of legislation and am thankful for her leadership on this issue,” said U.S. Senator Dean Heller.
The Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act would further advance America’s space science exploration through support of initiatives such as NASA GIRLS and NASA BOYS; Aspire-Inspire; and the Summer Institute in Science, Technology, Engineering and Research. The legislation would also require a report to Congress on how NASA plans to achieve the goals laid out in the bill. Representative Barbara Comstock (R-VA) is the author of the legislation in the House.
The Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act amends the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act to authorize the NSF to encourage its entrepreneurial programs to recruit and support women to extend their focus beyond the laboratory into the commercial world. Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) is the author of the legislation in the House.
Klobuchar has been in a leader in the effort to develop a strong science and engineering workforce ready for the jobs of tomorrow. Last month, Klobuchar’s provisions to require the Director of the NSF to consider recommendations from organizations representing underrepresented groups for the STEM Education Advisory Panel and allow for research to better understand factors relevant to the retention of STEM teachers from underrepresented groups, including women and minorities, were signed into law by the president in the reauthorization of the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act. She was a strong supporter of the America COMPETES Act of 2007 and the reauthorization of the law in 2010. Klobuchar also introduced the Innovate America Act to promote innovation and increase America’s competitiveness in the global economy. Klobuchar is also one of the founding co-chairs of the Diversifying Technology Caucus and co-chair of the Women’s High Tech Coalition.