Maloney Reintroduces Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today reintroduced the Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act which would support programs designed to increase participation for women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Under the bill, grants would support online workshops, mentoring opportunities to connect professionals with students, internships for undergraduate and graduate students, outreach programs for K-12 students, and retention programs for STEM faculty.
“Even though women make up half of the current workforce, they still hold less than a quarter of all STEM jobs. Many groups including African-American, Hispanic, and Asian populations, make up only a quarter of the STEM workforce. That needs to change,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. “Failing to realize the full potential of all of America’s workforce hurts not just these communities, but our economy as a whole and our competitiveness on the world stage. The Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act will help us realize that full potential.”
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) leads the Senate companion.
The Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act is endorsed by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), American Mathematical Society (AMS), Girls, Inc., Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
“The STEM workforce has expanded enormously in recent decades, and demand for professionals in these fields is projected to surge in the years ahead. Yet women of color, indeed women in general, remain vastly underrepresented in STEM careers. Without a robust and diverse STEM workforce, the U.S. will be unable to remain globally competitive. But we need to remove the barriers and biases that keep women out – or push them out once they get there,” Kim Churches, CEO of the American Association of University Women, said. “We applaud Representative Carolyn Maloney and Senator Mazie Hirono for introducing the Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act of 2021 to tackle these issues. By creating programs to open doors for underrepresented populations, this law will help to lay the groundwork for a more welcoming and inclusive STEM workforce in the years ahead.”
“Girls and students of color face significant barriers to accessing meaningful STEM opportunities, which must be addressed at the policy level,” Stephanie J. Hull, Ph.D., Girls Inc. President and CEO said. “The Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act would provide much-needed support to encourage young people's STEM interests and abilities, and inspire them to embrace these careers as viable options for the future. This legislation has the potential to advance equity in the workplace and reduce income inequality for women. We are proud to support the STEM Booster Act and applaud Representative Carolyn Maloney and Senator Mazie Hirono for their leadership.”
“The opportunities and personal impact from K-12 mathematics is unacceptable to many, especially for women and underrepresented groups,” Dr. Trena Wilkerson, President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, said. “Our collective and coordinated attention is needed to increase access and support and to assure that the actions and cultures of our mathematics and STEM programs, at all levels, are transformed to welcome, embrace, support and value women and marginalized individuals. The STEM Booster Act works across multiple levels from professional development, to leadership development, to increasing representation and role models in education. NCTM appreciates the attention to this critical work and supports the leadership and vision of Representative Maloney and Senator Hirono through the STEM Booster Act.”
“As the leading national society for women in the mathematical sciences, the Association for Women in Mathematics actively works to support women and underrepresented groups in STEM fields. The Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act would provide financial and logistical support at all levels of education, which will help to address both the recruitment and retention issues in this crucial sector,” said the Association for Women in Mathematics. “By funding programs that encourage a broader population to join the STEM pipeline, and also provide the support to anchor women and minorities in those careers, this Act addresses major factors which influence the educational and professional success of our membership at a national level. We appreciate that Rep. Maloney and Senator Hirono recognize that diverse voices and perspectives in STEM are necessary to keep up with fast-paced technological changes and solve the complex scientific problems that affect our society as a whole.”