During National Women’s Month, Rosen-Led Resolution Recognizes Important Contributions Women Of Color Make To Tech Fields And Highlights Challenges They Face
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) introduced a bipartisan resolution designating March 24, 2023 as “National Women of Color in Tech Day.” The proposed day of national recognition highlights the numerous important contributions women of color have made to the technology sector in the United States as well as acknowledges the challenges that many women of color have faced, and continue to face in the technology field. The resolution also urges the U.S. Senate to work toward eliminating barriers for women of color looking to enter the technology industry.
“Evidence suggests that structural and social barriers in tech education, tech workforce development, the tech workforce, and venture capital investment in tech can disproportionately and negatively affect women of color,” wrote the Senators. “National Women of Color in Tech Day acknowledges the challenges many women of color face in the field of technology…and recognizes and emphasizes the importance of women of color in tech in the United States.”
“[This Senate resolution] pledges to work to increase diversity and inclusion in the technology sector, including through robust plans to ensure recruitment, training, and retention of underrepresented minorities at all levels; commits to working to eliminate barriers to entering the technology sector faced by women of color and individuals from other underrepresented groups; [and] reaffirms the commitment of the Senate to ensuring that all students have access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education for a 21st-century economy,” the Senators continued.
“We are grateful to Senator Rosen for acknowledging March 24th as Women of Color in Tech Day. At Girls Who Code, we know all too well the challenges women of color face in the tech world,” said Tarika Barrett, CEO of Girls Who Code. “While women in tech hold only 26% of computing jobs, the numbers for women of color are even lower. This bill is a step in the right direction to level the playing field and give women of color a chance to thrive in an industry that impacts us all.”
“The Micro:bit Educational Foundation wholeheartedly supports The Women of Color in Tech Day Resolution, joining in recognition of the major contributions of Women of Color in the tech fields and the commitment to making tech inclusive for all by eliminating the structural and social barriers women of color face,” Gareth Stockdale, CEO of Micro:bit Educational Foundation. “By inspiring more girls and young women from all backgrounds about their best digital future, we can encourage their creativity to develop the tech solutions of the future.”
“Hispanic women are highly skilled problem-solvers and solution-finders in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. They are critical to the development of local economies, growing our nation’s research and innovation capabilities, and improving our emerging technologies ecosystem,” said Miguel Alemañy, CEO at SHPE. “Their contributions to all STEM industries will advance meeting our National Security and STEM workforce demands and needs. This Resolution recognizes the importance of building and maintaining national and global competitiveness by removing barriers for all Hispanic women as they continue to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM.”
The resolution is endorsed by Npower.org, Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Who Code, AnitaB.org, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Computer Science Teachers Association, Code.org, Cyber.org, and Micro:bit Educational Foundation.
Joining Senators Rosen, Wicker, Duckworth, and Hirono on the resolution are Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Amy Klobuchar, (D-MN), Alex Padilla (D-CA), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).
Senator Rosen has consistently made women’s access to STEM fields a priority. In 2020, her bipartisan Building Blocks of STEM Act was signed into law, which created new research grants at the National Science Foundation to increase the participation of girls in computer science. The next year, Senator Rosen launched the U.S. Senate’s first bipartisan Women in STEM Caucus that works to advance women’s participation in STEM careers by providing a forum for discussion on legislation to bolster the STEM workforce with more women and women of color. More recently, legislation Senator Rosen helped introduce was included in provisions of last year’s CHIPS and Science Act to increase the participation of underrepresented communities in STEM.