Yesterday, Ivanka Trump announced that she will take a leave of absence from the Trump Organization and her own branding business to settle her family into Washington, D.C. During this time, she’ll be able to help her father assume the presidency and support her husband as he takes on a senior unpaid White House role (subsequently stepping down as chief executive of his real estate company and publisher of the Observer).
“When my father takes office as the 45th President of the United States of America, I will take a formal leave of absence from The Trump Organization and my eponymous apparel and accessories brand. I will no longer be involved with the management or operations of either company.”
Ivanka appointed Abigail Klemp as president of her brand of fashion and lifestyle products, and also mentioned that her two adult brothers would run the Trump Organization. She continued to say:
“My husband, Jared, and I will be moving with our family to Washington, D.C., where Jared will serve as Senior Advisor to the President. I plan to take time to settle our three young children into their new home and schools.”
So, what exactly does this all really mean for Ivanka, as an influential and powerful working woman? On one hand, she is possibly creating a necessary work/life boundary for herself–since we all know you can’t do and be everything all the time. We all need balance, and it would be remiss to say that her life, both at home and at work, would not be majorly changing during this transition.
However, her announcement also implies that she is taking the back seat in all of this change, removing herself (in some ways, at least visibly) from her business roles, thus, decreasing her sense of power and influence–all for the men in her life. In some ways, she’s sacrificing her own career for her husband’s–and I do wonder what kind of example this is setting for her own children, not to mention other young people.
While it’s no one’s business to judge a woman’s career and motherhood choices, Ivanka has literally made a career for herself based on feminist ideals and changing the landscape for working women. Her forthcoming book is titled “Women Who Work,” let’s not forget.
That being said, Pattie Sellers, who co-founded Fortune’s Most Powerful Women franchise, thinks this makes Ivanka even more powerful, as Samantha Schmidt in Fortune points out:
“Ivanka Trump, by giving up her business ties, is positioning herself to have extraordinary influence in the Trump White House. She genuinely cares about empowering women financially and in other ways, and I think she’s smart to trade one type of power and influence for another.”
While this is definitely not untrue, I do wonder where empowering women comes into play, considering her father’s platform isn’t exactly women-friendly and family friendly (note the fact that ACA may be repealed, his health care policy staffer believes birth control causes abortion, etc.). I admit, I’m skeptical of Ivanka’s intentions and agenda–and while I’d like to believe she has women’s best interests at heart–I don’t exactly have a whole lot of evidence or proof to actually believe she does.