Tuesday, April 4 is Equal Pay Day, which symbolically denotes how far into the year—44 days— women must work in order to make the same amount of money that men made last year. As someone who has indicated she wishes to make women's empowerment a priority, Ivanka Trump should speak out about the gender wage gap today and, in particular, address how, if at all, her father's administration plans to remedy it.
Equal Pay Day was first observed in 1996 and was conceived by the National Committee on Pay Equity as a way of drawing attention to the gender wage gap, which reflects the disparity between men's and women's wages. Presently, the average salary for women in the United States is approximately 79 percent of the salary of the average American male. In addition to raising awareness, Equal Pay Day is also seen as an opportunity to take concrete action to remedy the gender wage gap. For example, Congressional Democrats will honor the day by re-introducing legislation to strengthen women's workplace protections.
In addition to Congressional Democrats, the Executive Branch should also address the gender wage gap on this symbolic day. While it, of course, would be wonderful to hear President Trump speak directly on the gender wage gap and how he plans to address it, the more likely candidate is his daughter Ivanka, who has recently taken on an official unpaid advisor role in the White House. She has also indicated many times that advancing women's and girls' issues constitutes her main priority during her father's administration.
Indeed, throughout her father's presidential campaign, Ivanka spoke on the issue of gender pay equity and, in fact, dedicated much of her speech at the Republican National Convention to advocating for it. Since her father took office, she has also hosted roundtables on women in the workplace and helped launched a women entrepreneurs initiative with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Thus, considering her previous commitments to and comments on the issue, Ivanka is the ideal Trump administration candidate to speak about the gender wage gap on Equal Pay Day. And she should absolutely do so if she is truly committed to the cause of advancing gender pay equity.
Many Americans would appreciate clarity on if and how President Trump plans to reduce the gender pay gap, especially amidst talks that his administration may roll back Obama administration guidelines and initiatives that were designed to reduce wage disparities. Furthermore, those same Americans want insight into how, if at all, the Trump administration's proposed maternity leave plan and other workplace polices will help contribute to eliminating the wage disparity.
Equal Pay Day presents a prime opportunity for Ivanka and the Trump administration to seriously address the gender wage gap. As someone who has very publicly and ardently committed to ending gender pay disparity, it only makes sense that Ivanka should step up and ensure that her father's administration tackles the issue today and for the duration of his presidency.