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Pentagon agrees to monitor gender bias

The Department of Defense is to begin collecting data on applicants’ gender to see whether women face discrimination in the agency’s grant-awarding process.

Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Democrat from Texas and the ranking minority member of the House science committee, Louise Slaughter, a Democrat from New York, and Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut, wrote to the DoD, NASA and the Department of Energy asking them to change their gender data collection policies following a recent Government Accountability Office report into gender bias.

The Pentagon responded on 12 May to say that it had found no legal problems with collecting the necessary gender data. “[We] will collaborate with other federal agencies already capturing demographic data to determine best practices before beginning data collection,” wrote DoD undersecretary Frank Kendall in a letter to the representatives.

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