Less than a week after celebrating Women’s Equality Day, the Trump administration announced its decision to discontinue an equal pay initiative put in place during the Obama years.
The former initiative required companies with more than 100 employees to disclose their workers’ salaries, broken down by gender and race, as a means of identifying and ultimately reducing pay inequality—an issue painfully ever-present when we take into account that fair pay is law but not reality. The data collection's findings would not be available to the public but rather to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in order to help the commission identify companies with major wage gaps and force them to compensate their employees fairly.
Considering how President Trump’s has handled (and acted with) blatant disrespect for women and minorities in the past, it comes as no surprise that the closing of the pay gap isn’t chief among his presidential objectives. But First Daughter Ivanka has long championed wage equality, vowing that her father would do the same if elected President.
Despite these progressive claims, Ivanka was quick to endorse the administration’s step backward.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Ivanka made her views plain:
“Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results,” she said on Tuesday. “We look forward to continuing to work with [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission], [the Office of Management and Budget], Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.”
Like many of the administration’s announcements, Ivanka's proposes a seamless fix with no clear game plan, giving her father her blessing to set back the long-fought battle of wage inequality.
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Although Ivanka has never presented herself as a feminist icon, she has stood to alleviate the frequent fallout of her father’s impulsive actions. Where her father falters, she picks up the slack. When Donald fails to condemn white supremacy, Ivanka subverts his vague statements with peace-abiding claims of her own. That goes for lighter moments too: She reminds Americans to wear their solar eclipse glasses as our nation's president stares at the sun.
She’s the mild-mannered representative of the Trump camp—the successful businesswoman and mother of three who stands up for what’s right. She wouldn’t let the Donald derail our nation’s progress, would she?
Well, she had the opportunity to fight against, or at least publicly disavow, the administration's choice to dissolve the equal pay initiative, but she did nothing of the sort. Her carefully curated image has allowed us to believe that she can lend a hand in righting Trump’s wrongs—but her latest statement has shown us how false that perception might be.
Ivanka isn’t here to clean up Trump’s mess this time. She’s simply sweeping the clutter beneath the White House rug.