One word that fairly accurately describes the Trump family is hypocritical. There have been numerous occasions in which President Donald Trump or one of his children has said one thing, but done another. His eldest daughter, Ivanka, is no exception.
The fashion entrepreneur turned White House aide has claimed to be a champion for working women’s rights and has echoed her father’s supposed “America First” values. Yet, her business practices suggest she is not as committed to these initiatives as she says.
A report released by The Washington Post details how Ivanka Trump’s company relies heavily on foreign factories in countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, and China despite the fact that her father has chided many other American companies for outsourcing jobs to other countries.
In her recently-published book, “Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success,” Ivanka Trump stresses that improving working women’s’ lives is her “life’s mission,” yet her factories are located in countries where low-wage workers have little to no ability to advocate for themselves, particularly women.
The Washington Post also notes that her company trails behind many of her competitors in regard to keeping an eye on the treatment of the predominantly female factory workers.
For example, according to the report, major apparel companies, such as Adidas and Kenneth Cole, have committed to protecting factory workers by hiring independent auditors to monitor labor conditions and being transparent with consumers about the state of their overseas facilities.
Ivanka Trump’s brand, however, relies almost exclusively on an honor system approach that counts on the suppliers to abide by a code of conduct aimed to regulate physical abuse and child labor.
Abigail Klem, a long-time top executive with the brand and its current president, expressed a strong sense of trust in the suppliers’ dedication to following company policies. She reportedly said that she is confident they are operating “at the highest standards” and added that “Ivanka sought to partner with the best in the industry.”
While Klem’s assertion sounds great on the surface, the company has refused to publish the names and locations of the factories that make its products, according to The Washington Post. This lack of transparency is more than questionable.
A 26-year-old Indonesian woman only identified as “K.” said she makes Ivanka Trump dresses and earns the equivalent of $173 a month for her work, which is hardly enough to make ends meet as she also has a 2-year-old daughter for whom she can’t afford childcare.
She is reportedly forced to trek 90 minutes to her parents' village so that they can watch her child while she works.
Meanwhile, Ivanka has been very heavily promoting this image of an advocate for women in the workforce.
For example, during a recent trip to Saudi Arabia with her father, she told a group of Saudi female leaders that she strives “to help empower women in the United States and around the globe,” The Washington Post notes.
During this same visit, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pledged $100 million to her World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Fund, which rightfully raised many eyebrows.
Additionally, she wrote impassioned passages in her book released in May about how strongly she values equitable working conditions.
“As a leader and a mother, I feel it’s as much my responsibility to cultivate an environment that supports people — and the roles we hold, both in our family and business lives — as it is to post profits,” she wrote. “One cannot suffer at the expense of the other — they go hand in hand.”
She may talk a big game, but the question remains: Will her actions ever match up to her words?
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters,Yuri Gripas