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Women at Work

Regardless Of How You View Ivanka, She Should Get Paid For Being A "Woman Who Works"

This post has been updated


As crazy as it to say this about a so-called "billionaire's" daughter, Ivanka Trump’s unpaid White House position makes her a victim of “time poverty” like countless women around the world who work for no pay, especially when it comes to supporting men in their lives.

Obviously Ivanka’s newly elevated role, subsidized by taxpayer money, gives her “Women Who Work” brand millions of dollars in free PR. So in many ways she is getting remunerated, but by that argument any other person who works in the White House should forgo a salary for the brand lift they’re getting as well. Another rationale we’ve heard for Ivanka not getting paid, aside from the main reason which allows her to skirt nepotism laws (also why her husband Jared Kushner isn't getting paid), is that she’s fulfilling the First Lady role that her stepmother Melania has stepped back from. But if Melania were to work consistently as First Lady, then we believe she should get paid as well. Michelle Obama never got paid for eight years of tireless work on behalf of the American public and that’s another example of outdated sexism that’s still perpetuated by the highest office in the land.

Not paying Ivanka contributes to a sliding scale - regardless of whether she's the First Daughter or has a lot of personal wealth  - that allows more women to be told their work isn’t valued. During negotiations with companies in my position at PowerToFly, I've heard people ask what a woman's husband does so they can determine her level of pay. I've never, ever heard the same being asked about a man.  

Furthermore, if Ivanka is equipped to take the role then she should recognize that she's filling a coveted office in the West Wing that is designated for paid individuals - and she should be vetted like they are (I know, nepotism rules). I mean, yes, she could be an unpaid intern which is commensurate to her policy experience - but they don't get personal offices in the West Wing or communications devices to handle classified information.  As Amanda Carpenter at Cosmo wrote today, “By taking this role, Ivanka is taking away a life-changing opportunity from another woman, who undoubtedly would have more expertise than the first daughter.”

Regardless of your politics, your feelings on skirting nepotism laws, your understanding of Ivanka’s personal wealth, or whether or not you think she's qualified for the job, we think any case where a woman is not getting paid for work is wrong... and especially if their brand,"Women Who Work", claims to fight for workplace equality.

 

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