I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know what to make of this story. On the surface, this story seems amazing. A piece of legislation directed towards empowering women to be educated, trained and employed in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math should be cause for a major celebration. This type pf empowerment is and always has been female empowerment, particularly in the technology industry, but something about this doesn’t feel genuine to me; like it’s been staged to get the organizers of the Women’s March off of his back or something. This administration has done nothing positive for women or Minorities in it’s 40 days of existence and this feels a little to good to be true. However, if it turns out this is a legitimate thing and good things come of it for women in these fields, I will be the first person to send Trump a personal thank you note for his effort.
Although, going forward, Trump’s handlers should think twice about bringing Melania and Ivanka in for the photo op of such bills. Their presence at a STEM event of any kind rings hollow in the ears of those working in the field and frankly, just plain offensive.
by Erin Carson of CNET
The White House just gave women in STEM a boost.
President Donald Trump signed two laws on Tuesday that authorize NASA and the National Science Foundation to encourage women and girls to get into STEM fields. Those are science, technology, engineering and math.
The INSPIRE Act directs NASA to promote STEM fields to women and girls, and encourage women to pursue careers in aerospace. The law gives NASA three months to present two Congressional committees with its plans for getting staff — think astronauts, scientists and engineers — in front of K-12 girls studying STEM.
The full name of the law is the Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act, in case you’re wondering where the acronym INSPIRE comes from.
The second law is the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act. It authorizes the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurial programs aimed at women.
“It’s not fair and it’s not even smart,” Trump said of the low percentage of women with STEM degrees who actually work in the field. About a quarter of the women with STEM degrees work in the field.
The topic of women in tech has grown more heated over the past few years. Although women account for about 47 percent of the workforce in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they make up only 25.6 percent of computer and mathematical occupations, and 15.4 percent of architecture and engineering occupations. These days, women earn only 18 percent of computer science degrees. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama’s administration projected there were more than a half million open jobs in information technology.
Trump signed the bills surrounded by various women like Rep. Barbara Comstock, who introduced the INSPIRE Act, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, as well as his daughter Ivanka Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. Vice President Mike Pence was also on hand, along with Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, to name a few.
In the Oval Office, Trump expressed the need to have more policies addressing women in the workforce.
“That’s really going to be addressed by my administration over the years with more and more of these bills coming out and address the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs and by those in STEM fields,” he said.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment as to what these other bills could be.