On February 28, 2017, the President signed the “Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Act” into law. The primary aim of the bill is to compel the director of NASA to encourage women and girls to study within the STEM fields. The purpose of this act is to support NASA and help women to consider and pursue a career in aerospace. NASA will use three initiatives to support the efforts; the NASA GIRLS AND NASA BOYS programs, Aspire to Inspire, and the Summer Institute in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Research.
The INSPIRE Act is one additional step in what needs to be a comprehensive approach to break down the glass ceiling for women in many STEM fields. We currently have a tremendous shortage of US trained personnel to fill the many opportunities in STEM fields. The US is currently losing thousands of jobs overseas, simply because we don’t have trained people to do the work required. While not anywhere near a cure for the problem INSPIRE is a step in the right direction. The fastest fix to this problem is to make sure that women are given every opportunity to go after what are often traditionally male opportunities in the STEM fields.
PS Solutions Foundation is dedicated to helping young girls get exposure to STEM opportunities, particularly software engineering in the hopes that they will be encouraged to pursue the field as they work through their educational path. PS Solutions Foundation has provided scholarships for girls participating in science camps at Penn State Altoona.
Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act
The Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act was signed into law on February 28, 2017. It was one of two bills designed to encourage woman to pursue careers in science and business fields. This Act allows the National Science Foundation to encourage entrepreneurial programs for women. These programs will allow women the opportunity to strive for careers in the STEM fields from the lab to the commercial world.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while women make up 47 percent of the U.S. workforce, they only hold 25.6 percent of computer and mathematical occupations and only 15.4 percent of architecture and engineering occupations. At the college level, women only earn 18 percent of computer science degrees.
Founded in 2012, PS Solutions Foundation focuses local efforts at encouraging young women to develop an interest in software engineering. The Foundation partners with educational providers to engage the young women so they can explore Computer Science and hopefully one day strive for a career within the field. There is a large opportunity for women within the STEM fields and this Act will hopefully be only one step in a comprehensive plan to help grow those opportunities for women.