Thursday, June 12, 2008

The House Celebrates Women in Science and Engineering

The news:

House Celebrates Women Scientists, Technologists, Engineers, and Mathematicians
On June 4, the House approved, by voice vote, a resolution (H. Res. 1180) recognizing the efforts of outstanding women scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians in the United States and around the world.

Sponsored by Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

* women have been vitally important to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and have transformed the world and enhanced and improved the quality of life around the globe;
* the contributions of women and mothers are central to progress and to the development of knowledge in many areas, including chemistry, physics, biology, geology, engineering, mathematics, and astronomy, and these contributions boost economic growth, create new jobs, and improve our knowledge and standard of living;
* in order to ensure our nation's global competitiveness, our schools must continue to cultivate female scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians from every background and neighborhood in our society to create the innovations of tomorrow that will keep our nation strong;
* and a disproportionately low number of female students are pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and it is crucial that we focus attention on increasing the participation of women.
The sponsor Representative Dave Reichert said:

"Women have made great strides in the workplace, yet disparities remain in certain fields,” said Reichert. “According to the Department of Education, approximately 20 percent of those entering the engineering field are women. Congress must continue to educate the public about the important role of women in society and recognize the key accomplishments of women in scientific fields. And in our schools and communities, we must encourage more young women to pursue careers in science and technology fields by adequately funding STEM education in our schools. I was proud to offer this resolution to recognize the significant contributions of women to these fields.”

Notice that the resolution doesn't actually propose any solutions for increasing the participation of women in STEM fields. Hopefully Congress will put its money where its mouth is.

Read the full text of House Resolution 1180.

ETA: one of the commenters at Sciencewomen points out that Reichert has made comments that are grossly sexist, so maybe he's trying to rehabilitate his image with this resolution.

(via Alice at Sciencewomen)
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K.C. said...

I loved this post. Every person does their part in some way. For women to be recognized is such a great step. Being a mother is such a great accomplishment in it's own right, but to also be recognized in another capacity as a woman is wonderful. Thank you for this post! KC