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ROSEN INTRODUCES “CODE LIKE A GIRL ACT,” A BIPARTISAN BILL TO ENCOURAGE YOUNG GIRLS TO PURSUE A CAREER IN COMPUTING

July 20, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 3316, the “Code Like A Girl Act,” a bipartisan bill to encourage young girls under the age of 11 to explore careers in computer science.

“When I started my career as a computer programmer, I was one of very few women in a male-dominated industry,” said Congresswoman Rosen. “Despite the progress we’ve made, fewer than 1 in 5 computer science graduates are women. This disparity is depriving our country of talented minds that could be working on our most challenging problems. Given the ever increasing importance of computer science in today’s economy, it’s critical we find ways to break down barriers and level the playing field for women everywhere.”

“The Association for Computing Machinery’s Council on Women applauds Rep. Jacky Rosen and supports her proposed legislation to provide funding for critical research in computing education for young girls,” said ACM-W Chair Jodi Tims.  “This research holds potential to address the long-standing issue of the underrepresentation of women in computing and complements the efforts of the many organizations that focus on high school and post-secondary women. We hope to see this legislation get bipartisan support in Congress."

BACKGROUND: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, women held more than 51 percent of all professional occupations in the United States, but only 26 percent of the computing-related occupations. This disparity can be traced back as early as middle school, where boys are nearly twice as likely as girls to say they plan to learn computer science.

H.R. 3316 creates two National Science Foundation grants to research and fund computer science programs that encourage early childhood education in STEM for girls under the age of 11. This bill is endorsed by Common Sense Kids Action and by the Association for Computing Machinery’s Council on Women in Computing (ACM-W), which supports and advocates for the full engagement of women in all aspects of computer science.

View full text of the bill here.
 

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