Legislators Promote Women In Aviation
Bipartisan bills introduced in the House and Senate this week aim to promote aviation education and careers for women and girls. Senators Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, sponsored a bill that would promote expanding the role of women in the aviation workforce. The bill would direct the FAA to create a Women in Aviation Advisory Board, and to submit a report to Congress on the status of women in aviation today and how opportunities for them could be expanded. Also, in the House, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., and Rep. Steve Knight, R-Calif., introduced the Women in Aerospace Education Act.
The act aims to support programs that would engage girls at a young age and encourage them to enter fields that have historically had few women participating. It also would encourage universities to incorporate aerospace engineering experiences at the National Laboratories and NASA into their teacher-training curriculum, and would direct NASA to strengthen the promotion of NASA internship and fellowship programs toward women. This wouldn’t affect the selection process for these programs, but would focus on the marketing and recruiting strategies, to encourage more women to apply.
"For many years, the aerospace industry has been predominantly male, despite the fact that women have equally excelled in the STEM fields of study,” said Rep. Knight. "By actively engaging this half of the workforce to enter the industry, this bill will help ensure the lasting dominance of American air and space innovation." The Act was passed by the House on Tuesday, by a vote of 409-17.