DANBURY, Conn. -- Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) announced the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act last week, a bipartisan bill to improve programs that support women entrepreneurs in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields, where they have been historically underrepresented.
The legislation expands the mission of the National Science Foundation to include supporting "entrepreneurial programs for women that extend their focus beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world." Three other members of Congress joined Esty in introducing the bill: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee; Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D- TX), the ranking member of the SST Committee; and Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), chairwoman of the House SST Subcommittee on Research and Technology.
"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," Esty said. "The 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."
Esty is also a member of SST Committee and one of the leaders in Congress in improving STEM careers and STEM skills training. Last year, she and Smith partnered to introduce the STEM Education Act, which supports training for STEM teachers and includes computer science for the first time as a focus of STEM education initiatives. That bill is now law.
Esty is also the founder of the STEM Advisory Board, which brings together leaders in the STEM fields from across Connecticut to address the challenges facing STEM industries in the state and develop strategies for preparing students for STEM careers.
Esty represents the Fifth Congressional District, which encompasses much of northwestern Connecticut, including Danbury, Brookfield, Sherman, New Fairfield, Bethel and Newtown. Her website is here.
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