The president on Tuesday signed two bipartisan bills that aim to promote women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and in business. This is a worthy effort, given that 84 percent of current STEM workers are either white or Asian males.
In practice, the bills don’t do an awful lot. The Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers and Innovators and Explorers (INSPIRE) act requires NASA to support three mentoring and educational programs for young female students. It also compels NASA to submit a plan in the next 90 days for how the agency can better “engage with K–12 female STEM students and inspire the next generation of women to consider participating” in STEM. The Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act, meanwhile, “authorizes the National Science Foundation to provide support for women’s entrepreneurial programs.”
Of course, Trump did sign these bills right after signing an executive order to roll back a clean drinking water regulation. And tonight, he’ll deliver a speech detailing his agenda for the rest of the year, which includes repealing Obamacare and increasing defense-related spending by $54 billion, while cutting other federal agencies—like the EPA and the State Department—by the same amount. But credit where due, etc.