Ivanka Trump might be a champion for working mothers, but the eldest Trump daughter recently came under fire for not being entirely consistent with her message.
Trump has touted the importance of working mothers and how “Policies that allow women with children to thrive should not be novelties,” according to her Republican National Convention speech last month. Yet, the Washington Post recently reported that Trump’s eponymous fashion line does not offer any paid maternity leave to its expecting employees.
The Ivanka Trump Brand, which is owned by the G-III Apparel Group, was revealed to offer its employees the mandatory 12 weeks of unpaid leave — given that company employs 50 workers or more — in accordance with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
On the final day of the historic RNC speech, Trump staunchly maintained that her father supported equal pay and working mothers in his own work place:
“Women are paid equally for the work that we do and when a woman becomes a mother, she is supported not shut out,” Trump stated in her RNC speech back in July. “As president, my father will change the labor laws that were put into place at the time when women were not a significant portion of the workforce. And he will focus on making quality childcare affordable and accessible for all.”
Trump herself, who also recently published a book on the subject of working mothers, titled “Women Who Work,” also wrote a blog post on her site about tips for maternity leave. Citing fellow working mother and Alice + Oliva founder and creative director Stacy Bendet, Trump the businesswoman seemed to have no qualms about the mandatory 12 weeks of unpaid leave.
“When I had my third daughter, I came back to work after six days but worked half days,” Bendet stated. In a 2015 Business of Fashion article, Bendet described her company as, “pretty much a $200 million business.”
The Washington Post reported that the 34-year-old Trump took only eight days off before returning to work after delivering her first child, Arabella. According to a Forbes article, Trump’s clothing line “did $100 million in revenues in the last fiscal year.”
While Trump could most likely afford 12 weeks without pay for maternity leave, what about working women or expectant mothers who cannot afford to take the unpaid time?
According to a fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Labor, which outlines the need for paid leave, “Only 12-percent of U.S. private sector workers have access to paid family leave through their employer.”
And when companies did offer paid leave – and extended the timeframe – fewer women ended up leaving the workplace. For instance, when YouTube CEO Susan Wojciki increased paid maternity leave in 2007 from 12 weeks to 18, then-parent company Google reported the rate at which new mothers quit dropped by 50-percent, according to a Quartz news story published in January.