On April 30th, 2014, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) introduced the Getting into Researching, Learning and Studying of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (GIRLS STEM) Act, a bill that would establish a program at the U.S. Department of Education to ensure that more female students have access to and participate in STEM education and training. This program would provide grants to local educational agencies that develop plans to encourage young women to study STEM, educate parents about STEM opportunities for their children, provide training and mentoring opportunities for students, and prepare secondary students for college STEM programs.
"When women succeed, we all succeed. With more women in STEM jobs, we'll help grow our economy and make sure we're competitive with the rest of the world," said Congressman McNerney, who is a mathematician and wind energy engineer himself.
Women hold less than a quarter of STEM related jobs despite the fact that over half of all college degrees go to women in the U.S., indicating that there are institutional barriers to entry. A more equal representation of women in the quickly-growing STEM fields is important to women's employment equity and earning potential. STEM jobs pay women approximately 33% more than non-STEM jobs and often provide greater access to workplace benefits and flexibility, and genuine career ladders within growing, dynamic fields. Recent studies show that employers also benefit from a diverse workforce and equitable workplace. Overall, increased participation of women in STEM fields will improve equality of the economy and of the community.
You can urge your Representative to co-sponsor this important bill to fight gender stereotyping, biases and micro-inequities that inhibit women's interest, access and participation and make STEM jobs more family-friendly here.
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