Ivanka Trump was supposed to be a moderating force on her father and a champion for women in the workforce that would bring women equal pay, empowerment and affordable childcare, but she has shown herself to be completely useless when it comes to doing any of those things. Trump still withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, banned transgender people from serving in the military, signed a travel ban that would disproportionally hurt women and children, equated Nazis with people protesting their hateful and violent ideology and she has now shown her support for the repeal of an Obama-era policy to combat the gender pay gap.
The policy, which would be implemented in 2018, would require employers with more than 100 employees to collect data on how much they pay their employees and break that down by race, gender and ethnicity. This data would be used by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to gather more information about the reality of the gender pay gap. The policy would also enable the EEOC to fully examine how factors such as race and ethnicity affect different women at different companies.
Without information about how gender, race and ethnicity affect women the gender pay gap can’t be adequately addressed as any solution that does not take race and ethnicity into account would only help white women while hurting women of color.
This action by the Trump administration comes just days after Trump proclaimed August 26th, 2017 Women’s Equality Day. The press release talks about the importance of women in STEM, affordable childcare and “an economy where all women can succeed and thrive.” However, actions speak louder than words and the rollback of the Obama-era policy shows that the Trump administration doesn’t prioritize equal pay. While Ivanka can give nice, but vague, statements on women’s empowerment she fails to deliver on her promises, and if she does it is through policies that focus on women entrepreneurs and business leaders. This passion for women in the workforce doesn’t extend to the many women who make the clothes for her brand, women who depend on planned parenthood services or victims of domestic abuse who can’t report abuse in fear of being deported.
The Trump administration motivate this move by saying that they fear for the privacy and confidentiality of the information as well as the amount of paper work that it would result in. Despite this bulletproof reasoning from an administration that has shown zero regards for women’s right neither in the U.S. nor the world, but to be fair has the ability to write nice statements once, in a while, women’s groups have some criticism for Ivanka and Father.
“Based on what we’ve seen so far, there’s nothing shocking about Ivanka, self-styled champion for women, turning her back on women when it suits her or her father,” – Alexandra De Luca, the press secretary for Emily’s List, a Democratic group that works to elect pro-choice women to public office.
The rollback of this policy, in combination with the many other actions taken by the trump administration that hurt women, show that Ivanka Trump has very little influence on her father. It also shows that women’s empowerment for Ivanka trump really only means sitting at round tables talking with other powerful people about how women should be treated equally as if that in its self is would make any difference what so ever. Her actions show that she only cares about the optics of women’s empowerment and that only helps other wealthy white women like herself advance their public image without actually having to do anything.
“Today’s action sends a clear message to employers: if you want to ignore pay inequities and sweep them under the rug, this administration has your back,” – Fatima Goss Graves, the president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center
Her support for the rollback of this policy that has the unanimous support of women’s rights groups is yet another reminder that she either does not have the kind of influence she is described to have, or that she doesn’t really care about women in the workplace. Regardless of which is the truth, she continues to fail the women she promised to help.
Photo: Michael Vadon /Flickr