On July 30, the House approved, by voice vote, legislation (H.R. 1858), sponsored by Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), that incorporates programs to encourage and support women and minorities to pursue careers in math and science. On the same day, the House approved, by voice vote, a second bill (H.R. 100), introduced by Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), aimed at improving math and science instruction in the elementary and secondary schools.
Speaking in support of H.R. 1858, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) said, “It is quite clear that the United States will not have a technically competent workforce until females, the majority of our students, study science, math, and engineering or technology in the same numbers as their male counterparts.” She added, “That is why I am glad that we were able to work together to ensure that this bill addresses the important issue of girls and young women in technology.”
Rep. Ehlers said that H.R. 100 also will help women. “We are throwing away approximately 40 percent of our potential scientific, engineering, and mathematics workforce with the cultural attitude that women are not good at science or math or that minorities do not care for science or math,” he said. “That is nonsense, because in other countries they do; and they become scientists, engineers, doctors, and mathematicians. Women and minorities in this country can do the same. We have to work hard to change that culture, and this bill will move us in that direction,” he added.