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house Bill H.R. 255

Does the National Science Foundation Need to Encourage Women Entrepreneurs in STEM Fields?

Argument in favor

The National Science Foundation should support women entrepreneurs through its STEM programs, as women are underrepresented in those fields and STEM businesses can create high paying jobs.

Celeste's Opinion
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01/09/2017
It's in our country's best interests to have the most creative minds at the table in STEM fields. Unfortunately, bias (albeit unintentional at times) still exists. It's important that you stand up for those who have not yet had enough of a voice in their fields.
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Beverly's Opinion
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01/09/2017
In some parts of the country, female students have not felt encouragement to learn more science and math. My experience in teaching AP and Honors Chemistry at Naperville North High School has shown me clearly that women students are equally talented and intelligent in science and math as young men students. Sadly, all states do not have open avenues in primary and secondary schools to encourage girls and young women to pursue these areas. So I support this bill and hope you will too.
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Helen's Opinion
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01/09/2017
Women solve problems differently and recent research shows they perform better as physicians than their male peers. We need balance in the STEM professions to stay ahead globally. It is good for America and our businesses
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Argument opposed

It’s unnecessary to try to encourage entrepreneurship by women in STEM fields. If women want to start businesses in an industry using those skills, they will, so the NSF doesn’t need to actively promote that.

Brett's Opinion
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01/09/2017
Spending tax money on promoting any age, race, gender, ethnicity or religious affiliation's advancement over another - regardless of field - is morally wrong. Those who are proponents should look to other sources to encourage more women in sciences - a cause I'd happily support as a private citizen, but not as a taxpayer.
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Michael's Opinion
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01/09/2017
Why?...Why?...if women are interested in STEM fields they will go into it. Duh! Why do we need to spend taxpayer money to encourage people to do what they don't want to do? We don't need to engage in social engineering.
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Chanakya's Opinion
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01/09/2017
Dont know why anyone need special encouragement. if they want to get into that field they will. waste of time and money for the foundation to divert interest to increase a particular sex's involvement in that field.
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What is House Bill H.R. 255?

This bill would expand the mission of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to include supporting women entrepreneurs in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. 

It also notes that women are underrepresented in those fields even if they attained a STEM degree, and that women with those academic backgrounds are often successful entrepreneurs.

Specifically, this bill would authorize the NSF to “encourage its entrepreneurial programs to recruit and support women to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world.”

Impact

Female entrepreneurs; and the National Science Foundation’s STEM programs.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 255

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) introduced this bill to increase the role of women in STEM fields by encouraging entrepreneurship in the National Science Foundation’s programs:

“This bill takes a bipartisan approach to tackle a very real challenge that  women who are aspiring scientists and innovators face in the United States. he STEM fields play an increasingly important role in the U.S. economy, but women are still underrepresented in most STEM sectors. Making education and skills-training programs more accessible for women and other underrepresented groups is a key part of solving that problem, but it isn’t enough. This bill makes it clear that we can and should do more to support women when it comes to commercializing great ideas, starting small businesses, and creating jobs.”

When it was introduced in the last session of Congress, this legislation had the bipartisan support of five cosponsors in the House — including three Democrats and two Republicans. It passed the House on a 383-4 vote but ultimately stalled in the Senate.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Argonne National Laboratory / Creative Commons)

AKA

Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act

Official Title

To authorize the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurial programs for women.

bill Progress


  • EnactedFebruary 28th, 2017
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed February 14th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • The house Passed January 10th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
    IntroducedJanuary 4th, 2017

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    It's in our country's best interests to have the most creative minds at the table in STEM fields. Unfortunately, bias (albeit unintentional at times) still exists. It's important that you stand up for those who have not yet had enough of a voice in their fields.
    Like (297)
    Follow
    Share
    Spending tax money on promoting any age, race, gender, ethnicity or religious affiliation's advancement over another - regardless of field - is morally wrong. Those who are proponents should look to other sources to encourage more women in sciences - a cause I'd happily support as a private citizen, but not as a taxpayer.
    Like (170)
    Follow
    Share
    In some parts of the country, female students have not felt encouragement to learn more science and math. My experience in teaching AP and Honors Chemistry at Naperville North High School has shown me clearly that women students are equally talented and intelligent in science and math as young men students. Sadly, all states do not have open avenues in primary and secondary schools to encourage girls and young women to pursue these areas. So I support this bill and hope you will too.
    Like (112)
    Follow
    Share
    Why?...Why?...if women are interested in STEM fields they will go into it. Duh! Why do we need to spend taxpayer money to encourage people to do what they don't want to do? We don't need to engage in social engineering.
    Like (43)
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    Share
    It's a matter of competitiveness. To be highly competitive, we need a diverse set of the best minds. Unfortunately, systems and institutions are designed to attract and encourage a certain "type" of scientist (I.e., they are biased by design). For generations, federal, state, local and private dollars have gone into building these systems and institutions. To be more competitive, dollars must now go into rebuilding these institutions in ways that encourage a diverse set of thinkers. As someone who holds 5 STEM degrees (3 from arguably the #1 engineering institution in the world), I have seen firsthand the dangers of NOT encouraging women in STEM and I have seen the benefits of encouraging them. It makes a huge difference to the bottom line. Not to mention the moral argument.
    Like (35)
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    Women solve problems differently and recent research shows they perform better as physicians than their male peers. We need balance in the STEM professions to stay ahead globally. It is good for America and our businesses
    Like (28)
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    It takes ambition to start a business, regardless of gender. If she wants to do it, she will, with resolve - she will overcome whatever "obstacles" exist.
    Like (24)
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    It is important to encourage women to participate in STEM fields. To say that a determined individual will make it no matter what is to ignore the reality of the situation. I speak from personal experience as a women in a STEM field who has consistently faced obstacles that are not mirrored in a male's experience. Some of the greatest minds are discouraged from participating in science because they are women, and for the sake of progress this must be combatted. Some individuals have expressed concern about the cost, but this simply expands the mission statement of the NSF to emphasize encouraging women to participate. By my understanding their budget allotment from the government is unaffected by this vote.
    Like (22)
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    As a grandparent of a 12 year old math and science whiz, this country needs her future contributions.
    Like (21)
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    Dont know why anyone need special encouragement. if they want to get into that field they will. waste of time and money for the foundation to divert interest to increase a particular sex's involvement in that field.
    Like (20)
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    I believe the U.S. is behind on including women in the STEM fields. We need to include more women to have a diverse set of perspectives and to remain competitive and fair.
    Like (19)
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    We need supportive environments instead of the often unsafe and demeaning workplaces that women find themselves fleeing from because of disrespectful coworkers.
    Like (11)
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    Fewer women take the initiative to establish a business directly from their education, because many are investing time and money in having a family. As a Chemistry professor, request for my time throughout my career are constant due to having a family. Any help that pushs women into having their own company is welcome.
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    As the reports have shown, women & minorities are underrepresented in the STEM fields & tech community. Anything that can be done to encourage, foster & attract diversity of minds should be done.
    Like (10)
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    No,this legislation will cost taxpayer dollars in a time we need to cut spending. Legislation without a cost analysis should not even be considered for a vote!
    Like (9)
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    Women and girls have been told, for generations, they didn't have the aptitude for science, math, or engineering. Whether intentional or not, the government perpetuated that myth. It's only right to begin undoing the damage that was done.
    Like (8)
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    Of course women and girls should be supported in entering STEM careers, and this needs to come from the top down at companies and the bottom up in education. The NSF is in a unique position to provide the leadership needed.
    Like (7)
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    We don't need to "encourage" women to be in STEM fields. They either want to be there and WILL be there, or they don't want to and won't. It IS that simple.
    Like (7)
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    I think the film Hidden Figures showed what progress we make as a species when white male isn't the default option. We need to encourage STEM for all that goes double for women and minorities.
    Like (6)
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    It's important to encourage and to give women more opportunities to enter into a STEM field. The STEM field has been inherently dominated by men in the past which has discouraged some women from pursuing careers in it. This bill will help create a further diversity in the field which will only improve the research done in it.
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