May 16th, 2020
House Resolution 255 was a proposed amendment to the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act that was passed into law in the United States in 2017. The amendment was passed to give power to the National Science Foundation “to encourage its entrepreneurial programs to recruit and support women to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world.” (Congess.gov)
Upon signing the amended bill into law, President Donald Trump said, “We need policies that help support women in the workforce...and address the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs and those in STEM fields...We want American women who graduate from college with STEM degrees to be able to get STEM jobs...and...live out the American dream, which they are qualified to live out.”
In essence, this act is intended to serve as a balance in the STEM fields. At the time this amendment was passed, women made up 50% of the workforce in the United States, but only 25% of careers in STEM fields. It was also noted the only 26% of women who obtain STEM degrees in the United States were able to find positions in STEM fields. This Act was passed to ensure that qualified women have access to STEM-related careers and are considered highly in the expanding entrepreneurial STEM fields.
It is worthwhile to note that the actual “Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act” amendment only amounted to the striking of two words from the existing Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act and the addition of the sentence in the first paragraph. Therefore, to date, the act itself has not had much more impact than the original bill it was amended to.