So much for Ivanka Trump as America’s moderate savior. The favored first daughter – who wants her name to be synonymous with women’s equality at work – has failed again and again to provide a measured influence on her father’s obsessive rollback of women’s rights. Her presence in the White House, a polished false promise, has done almost nothing to protect the most vulnerable victims of Trump’s policies.
This week, for example, the Trump administration decided to do away with a policy that would have mandated employers document their workers’ pay alongside gender and race information and provide it to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The idea is that requiring this kind of accountability from employers will help to narrow the wage gap. Tracy Sturdivant, executive director of Make It Work, called the administration’s decision “an unacceptable and deliberate attack on women in the workplace, especially black and Hispanic women”.
Given Ivanka’s “Women Who Work” campaign and her repeated claim that she wants to level the playing field for women’s wages, you would think the businesswoman would have rallied support to keep the policy in place – or at the very least disagreed with her father’s decision. (“Where I disagree with my father, he knows it and I express myself with total candor,” she once told Gayle King on CBS.)
Instead, Ivanka supported her father’s move, releasing a flat statement that claimed while “the intention was good … the proposed policy would not yield the intended results”. Watch out, Gloria Steinem!
For what this will record is the raw gender pay gap. Which isn’t actually all that useful. In fact, it’s positively not useful when in the hands of the harpies. They get to say “but look, women are paid less than men” when in fact the explanation for that gap today is very much more that mothers earn less than non-mothers, fathers more than non-fathers. The more I look at the figures (and I’ve not seen anyone test exactly this in the literature but someone should) the more I am coming to the view that this explains all of the observed gap.
That is, the gender pay gap is a result of discrimination among parents about primary child care and providing for children. There just isn’t any room left for any other causes like taste discrimination etc.
So, why give people a misleading stick with which to beat us all?