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INSPIRE Women Act to Add Women to STEM Fields

January 10, 2017
Blog Post

On Tuesday (January 10), the House of Representatives approved H.R. 321, the Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act. I was proud to co-sponsor this bill with Virginia Congresswoman Barbara Comstock and a host of bipartisan Members of Congress.

According to the House Republican Conference, the INSPIRE Women Act “requires NASA to develop a plan for facilitating and supporting retired astronauts, scientists, engineers, and innovators to engage with K-12 female STEM students in an attempt to inspire young women to consider participating in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to pursue careers in aerospace.”

As an engineer by trade and the father of a daughter who plans a career in the field, I have seen firsthand the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, women only make up 25 percent of the STEM workforce despite making up half of the total college educated workforce. This bill addresses the underrepresentation in a way that I hope encourages more young women – like my daughter – to pursue a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics education and careers.