Two new laws aimed at bringing more women into science and technology careers should appeal to the hundreds of tech companies, including Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc., who have lambasted President Donald Trump’s policies as harming their ability to recruit talent abroad.
Trump signed into law two bills supporting women’s and girls’ career paths in the sciences, technology engineering and mathematics fields (STEM).
"We want American women who graduate from college with STEM degrees to be able to get STEM jobs that can support their families and help these American women to live out the American dream, which they are so qualified to live out,” Trump said as he signed the bills Feb. 28.
The Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act (H.R. 255) increases support from the National Science Foundation for female entrepreneurs in the STEM fields. Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers Women Act (H.R. 321) directs NASA to encourage young women and girls to pursue STEM careers through outreach programs. The bills were introduced by Reps. Elizabeth Etsy (D-Conn.) and Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), respectively.
The bills are a welcome nod to the tech industry—among Trump’s most vocal critics to date. During his presidential campaign, Trump’s website championed restrictions on high-skilled foreign worker visas as a way of promoting women and minorities in tech positions.
Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the creation of the United States-Canada Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders on his first White House visit Feb. 13. Ensuring equal opportunities for women in the workforce is a priority for both countries, the leaders said in a joint statement that day.
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