Biden Administration Focuses Funding on Increasing Diversity in STEM
Jul 19, 2021
In the President’s Budget Request, the Biden Administration is seeking increased funds for both existing and newly proposed STEM education programs. The request follows a January 2020 Executive Order issued by the Biden Administration that aims to increase equity and diversity in STEM fields. The Administration has requested $1.3 billion (a 16% increase) for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Education and Human Resources Directorate, which is the division responsible for most of the agency’s STEM education programs.
Included in the $1.3 billion request for NSF’s Education and Human Resources Directorate is a $47 million request (a 133% increase) to the NSF INCLUDES program. ASME was a recent awardee of an NSF INCLUDES grant for research focusing on increasing the number of women in mechanical engineering. ASME’s research through the INCLUDES grant worked towards the goal of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in engineering by studying how best to increase the participation of women in mechanical engineering. The research addressed the culture and preparation of the current and future mechanical engineering workforce and sought to expand the breadth of stakeholders responsible for contributing to the preparation and development of future mechanical engineers from underrepresented groups.
Increasing opportunities for underrepresented groups to participate in engineering at all education levels and in the engineering workforce is a main priority of ASME and is outlined in the newly released Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the STEM Workforce position paper. This paper outlines ASME’s support for fostering diversity, ensuring equitable access and inclusive practices, raising awareness of unconscious bias, and promoting cultural competence both within ASME and in the engineering field at large.