Bipartisan Bill to Promote Women in Aerospace Authored by Esty Passes House Science Committee
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty’s (CT-05) bipartisan Women in Aerospace Education Act (H.R. 4254) passed the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee by voice vote this morning. The bill would encourage universities applying for Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship grants, which are designed to cover the cost of STEM-degree seeking students who intend to teach in rural and lower income school districts, to incorporate aerospace programs at the National Laboratories and NASA Centers into their teacher training experience. Esty, along with Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25), introduced the legislation to encourage more women to participate in the STEM fields.
“One of our common goals is to inspire more people – and particularly more women – to pursue careers in the sciences, and at this moment, we have a long way to go,” Esty said. “Nearly a fifth of our aerospace engineers are eligible for retirement, and yet women only represent about a quarter of all STEM workers. We need to broaden and deepen our pool of available workers, and that means diversifying our workforce.
“It’s proven that girls who learn these key fields from teachers who are women are more likely to get interested in science, which is why I’m glad that the Women in Aerospace Education Act would expand opportunities for women who want to teach the sciences in our schools. We are rapidly facing a critical shortage of skilled aerospace workers. We simply cannot fill those positions unless we broaden and deepen the pool of skilled workers.
“With more women learning science from their peers, we can create more jobs in this key industry for Connecticut and the nation as a whole.”
Esty’s remarks from this morning’s House Science, Space, and Technology Committee markup can be viewed here. Her remarks begin at approximately the 1:10:00 mark.