ASBMB supports H.R. 204 - the STEM Opportunities Act
January 19, 2021
The following is a statement from Benjamin Corb, public affairs director for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology:
“The American research enterprise relies on a diverse, educated STEM workforce to uphold our nation’s economic leadership and global competitiveness in science and technology. Unfortunately, numerous studies show that women and minorities who are interested in STEM or who already work in STEM leave their respective fields at nearly every educational transition and at every career milestone.
H.R. 204, the STEM Opportunities Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives to address the challenges that push women and minorities out of STEM careers, including barriers to work-life balance and social integration, implicit biases and inequitable institutional structures. The bill promotes research on underrepresented groups in STEM fields and directs federal science agencies to raise awareness within their own walls and at institutions of higher education about cultural and institutional barriers that limit women and minorities in STEM.
If passed, this bill would promote evidence-based policies and practices to remove or reduce such barriers; to minimize the effects of implicit bias; and to recruit and retain underrepresented groups in STEM. It would create an inclusive environment, ensure that ethnic minorities can be successful in the American research enterprise, and ultimately expand the STEM workforce.
We applaud this bill and similar efforts to address underrepresentation of minorities, women and other groups in STEM, and we look forward to working with Congress to see this important legislation pass.”