Bills Passed to Boost Women, Veterans Presence in STEM Fields

Jan 4, 2018

stemLawmakers passed 3 bills aimed at providing more opportunities for people wanting to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Both the government and private sector struggle to fill STEM positions but this bipartisan legislation would support education and training initiatives for women, veterans, and other groups who are generally underrepresented in STEM fields.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, wrote, “The size and skill of our STEM workforce will be the most important determinant of our global economic competitiveness for decades to come. Unfortunately, the U.S. is near the bottom of developed nations in STEM education.”

The 3 Bills

The STEM Research and Education Effectiveness and Transparency Act, passed December 18, 2017, requires the National Science Foundation to fill in Congress on its efforts to get more women and other underrepresented groups to participate in federal research and education programs. It also mandates science agencies collect, analyze, and report data on the effectiveness of research and development grants to universities and federal laboratories.

The second bill, Women in Aerospace Education Act, would help bring more women into fellowship programs at NASA and national laboratories.

Finally, the Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act aims to open more opportunities for veterans to pursue jobs in STEM.

These 3 bills came as part of the congressional ‘science day”, which Smith organized. The day is supposed to “highlight the importance of research and discovery today and every day.” All 3 have been referred to the Senate’s Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

The Labor Department predicted roughly 2.5 million STEM-related positions would go unfulfilled in 2018. Smith thinks it’s crucial for the government to ensure funding for STEM training and education are spent as efficiently as possible.

The talent gap in these positions is particularly noticeable regarding age and gender. In September 2017, men held more than 72% of government IT positions, per the Office of Personnel Management. There is also roughly 4 ½ times the amount of IT specialists over age 60 than there are under 30.

Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) has started to notice the importance of filling these positions. “Bringing in digital natives and people that have been trained in the latest, greatest tactics, techniques, and procedures…that’s valuable.”

Message us & find out if you qualify today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Recent Articles

6 Key Reasons Why Your Disability Retirement Application Was Denied

Have you recently applied for Federal Disability Retirement, only to receive a denial? The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is denying more initial applications than ever. However, it's important to understand that a denial does not mean the end of the road for...

Federal Employee Resources

Our ever growing library of federal employee resources give you the knowledge you need to make smart choices about your future.


Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answers you need on-demand, from a team of federal employee benefits professionals.

View FAQ

Federal Benefit Webinars

Twice per month we host webinars to help federal employees better understand their benefits and answer their questions LIVE.

See Webinar Schedule

Benefit Guides

From guides to detailed charts, these educational resources will help clarify confusing federal employee benefits topics.

See our resources