Why Ivanka Trump’s support of ending the equal pay initiative is a big deal, in two maps

  • White House officials blocked an Obama-era rule designed to help close the wage gap.
  • Ivanka Trump, who has been an outspoken supporter of women’s equality in the workforce, supported the move.
  • High quality data on the pay inequality could help identify solutions to the persistent problem.

Much is assumed about the pay gap, but high quality data is hard to come by.

That was set to change in 2018, when an Obama-era rule requiring businesses to collect salary data based on gender, race, and ethnic groups was supposed to go into effect.

On Tuesday, White House officials announced a plan to roll back the rule, calling it “enormously burdensome” to companies, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Equal pay advocates argue, however, that pay discrepancies among employees create an undue burden for those who are paid less for equal work.

Ivanka Trump, self-described “advocate for the education & empowerment of women & girls,” supported the White House’s decision, telling the Wall Street Journal in a statement:

“Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results,” Ms. Trump said. “We look forward to continuing to work with EEOC, OMB, Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.”

In the US, the average woman earns 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. But the pay gap is not consistent across industries, companies, and positions, making the discrepancy difficult to root out and resolve. More data would, presumably, help achieve the goal of wage equality.

It’s well documented that low wage-earners suffer unduly from this gap, but no one is immune. Even among the highest earners in the US, women earn 39 cents for every dollar made by men, according to an analysis of the 2015 American Community Survey by labour economics research firm Job Search Intelligence (JSI).

Top earners men and women

Taking steps to close the wage gap — especially among mothers — is something Trump, who is the author of a book entitled “Women Who Work“, has spoken about for some time.

Last year, while her father was campaigning for president, she told Business Insider:

“Women are the primary breadwinners in 40% of American households. I think we’re at this point where we’re doing a lot and a lot is falling upon us and we need support and we need relief. One of the things I’m very excited for is a policy plan that my father’s campaign is going to be rolling out shortly to articulate exactly what he would do to address issues, predominately wage inequality in America and proposals specific to child care as well.”

So far, a concrete plan to reduce wage inequality has failed to materialise from the Trump Administration.