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Rep. McNerney Pushes for Investments to Help More Girls Pursue STEM Careers

Mar 11, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – As we celebrate Women’s History Month and honor the contributions women have historically made in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) has introduced legislation to expand opportunities for young women to pursue careers in STEM and ensure our nation can continue to compete in the global economy. H.R. 6195, the Getting Involved in Researching, Learning and Studying of STEM (GIRLS STEM) Act of 2020, would establish a program at the Department of Education to increase female students’ participation through access to STEM education and vocational counseling.

“What better way to honor the lives of influential American women, like Barbara McClintock and Diane Fossey, than introducing legislation to give other young women and girls the chance to explore the endless opportunities STEM provides,” said Congressman McNerney. “Women make up almost half of the American workforce, but hold less than a quarter of jobs in STEM fields. It’s simple math. When women succeed, we all succeed.”

According to the Department of Commerce, women made up 47 percent of all U.S. jobs in 2015, but held just 24 percent of STEM jobs. Additionally, it cites that, while nearly as many women hold undergraduate degrees as men overall, women make up only about 30 percent of all STEM degree holders.

The GIRLS STEM Act would provide grants to local educational agencies to develop plans that would encourage young women to study STEM, educate students’ parents about STEM opportunities for their children, provide training and mentoring opportunities for students, and prepare secondary students for college STEM programs.

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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.