The legislation, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Constance Morella, R-MD., calls for the creation of an 11-member commission on women in science, engineering and technology development. It passed the House and the Senate earlier this month, and gained the endorsement of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Association of Women in Science, among other trade groups. The commission will "review the career roadblocks for women in science, engineering, and technology" and will report to Congress on possible ways for companies to increase recruitment of talented and qualified women technologists, Morella said in a statement.
Undergraduate programs studied
It will also examine undergraduate science programs successful in retaining women students, and will study employment practices among private companies, universities and government agencies, she said.
"As a nation, we are growing aware of the problems that beset women in the sciences," Morella said in a statement. "We need a broad research project to consolidate information and to increase their participation in these fields."