In the United States, women still typically make around 79 cents for every dollar that men make for the same work. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Ivanka Trump revealed her heavy support for equal pay, repeatedly noting that she wanted to help end the gender pay gap if her father was elected president. As the United States acknowledges Equal Pay Day on April 10, you may be wondering if Ivanka truly supports equal pay and what, if anything, she has done to address the issue. Unfortunately, there has been little progress.
At the Republican National Convention (RNC) in July 2016, Ivanka vowed that both she and her father would fight to achieve equality for women in the workplace if he was elected president. As Ivanka told the crowd at the Cleveland-based convention:
As President, my father will change the labor laws that were put into place at a time when women were not a significant portion of the workforce. And he will focus on making quality childcare affordable and accessible for all.
... Policies that allow women with children to thrive should not be novelties, they should be the norm. Politicians talk about wage equality, but my father has made it a practice at his company throughout his entire career ... He will fight for equal pay for equal work, and I will fight for this too, right along side of him.
Ivanka was similarly vocal about her support for equal pay after her father was elected president. As the Washington Post reported, in 2017 she posted on Instagram to bring awareness to that year's Equal Pay Day on April 4. Alongside a graphic of statistics about gender pay gaps, Ivanka wrote,
Today, on #EqualPayDay, we are reminded that women deserve equal pay for equal work. Closing the gender pay gap is critical to the economic empowerment ... I am proud to work towards this goal alongside my father and in support of the administration’s commitment to women and families.
However, since her father took office, Ivanka, in her role as a White House advisor, has done little to champion equal pay causes. In fact, she publicly supported her father's decision to roll back an Obama-era initiative that required companies to report how much they pay their employees by gender, ethnicity, and race. The rule had been designed to bring transparency to company payment practices in hopes of diminishing gender and race wage gaps.
Ivanka released a statement on Sept. 1, 2017 indicating that she supported the president's decision, noting that she did not believe the law was serving its intended purpose. As Ivanka put it, according to CNN:
Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results. We look forward to continuing to work with EEOC, OMB, Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.
Equal pay is not the only issue affecting women that Ivanka has promised — and failed — to address since assuming her role in the White House. As reported by Time, during the RNC, Ivanka promised that, if elected, her father would make "childcare affordable and accessible to all." However, according to the Center for American Progress (CAP), Ivanka's proposed plan would disproportionately benefit wealthy families over working and middle class families. Moreover, as CAP also reported, neither this plan nor any other childcare plan has actually been approved by the Trump administration thus far.
Most recently, Ivanka has also received criticism for her newest push to pass a paid family leave policy, something which she has repeatedly touted as a goal. According to Business Insider, Ivanka's latest iteration of this policy seeks to fund paid family leave by drawing from individuals' social security funds. As the publication noted, critics of the proposal worry that it could heavily disadvantage women, who already receive fewer social security benefits than men. They also have expressed concern that the potential policy could weaken an already precarious social security system.
Overall, it is quite clear Ivanka has failed to keep many of her promises to advance women's issues and rectify injustices. While Ivanka seems to recognize the importance of these issues, including ensuring equal pay, her actions certainly do not seem to match her rhetoric thus far.