On the last night of the RNC, Ivanka Trump pledged that her father would help working mothers excel. She proudly announced that, “women are paid equal to men” at her father’s company. She continued:
“When a woman becomes pregnant, she is supported and not shut out. Policies that allow women with children to thrive should not be novelties.”
While the speech focused on how her father would aid working mothers, it’s not surprising Ivanka would focus on this particular issue. She actually wrote a book about Women Who Work and championed the matching hashtag #womenwhowork for her brand. However, according to the Washington Post, “the company that designs her clothing line, including the $157 sheath she wore during her convention speech, does not offer workers a single day of paid maternity leave.”
Ivanka signed a licensing agreement with G-III Apparel Group in 2012 “to develop sportswear, dresses, suits, suit separates, sleepwear, active wear, jeanswear and intimates.” An article this July in Forbes praised Ivanka’s success with her clothing line:
“While her father’s retail collections have suffered since he announced his candidacy just over a year ago, Ivanka’s appear to be thriving. Her clothing line alone… did $100 million in revenues in the last fiscal year, according to G-iii, the $2.3 billion (market cap) apparel giant that manufactures and distributes Ivanka’s wares.”
In that same article, Sammy Aaron, vice chairman of G-III and who oversees the Ivanka Trump’s brand, said she was, “very involved on a weekly basis” in the design process. And yet, five past and current employees separately told the Washington Post, “the company has no paid parental leave. One provided a document that she identified as G-III’s employee benefits: “Family MEDICAL Leave…after 1 year of employment. Up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave (in accordance with Federal and State laws).” This is the company Ivanka once boasted was the, “the ultimate destination for Women Who Work.” A spokesman for her company told the Washington Post that its 12 employees are offered eight weeks paid maternity leave but G-III did not respond to Post’s repeated requests for comment.
While G-III may be keeping the letter of the law, paid maternity leave is becoming more and more popular in the US. In a 2014 Department of Labor report about 58 percent of American companies with 1,000 or more employees fund maternity leave at full or partial compensation. For someone who earlier this year said, “I think parental leave is enormously important ” it’s surprising she would be comfortable working with a company that doesn’t seem to be in step with those values at all.
Ivanka’s herself acknowledged that “a strong and consistent identity” are important as “your name and reputation are your best assets.” Yet, she apparently overlooked working with a company that doesn’t share her ideals in the least, and that decision will most likely hurt her brand long after the election is over.
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