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May 3 2017

Tech Founder to Ivanka Trump: Don’t Use My Story

by Patrice L. Onwuka

Ivanka Trump’s new book is a new favorite target for many feminists and progressives, but one qualm leaves us scratching our heads.

Trump’s second book, Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success, is a how-to guide for moms and women on being successful in the workplace. She includes stories from noteworthy and recognizable women. As Fortune notes, the book, which was written before President Trump was elected, highlighted stories and quotes from several people who have criticized her father or his policies, including actress Cynthia NixonFacebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and New America President and CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter.

Not everyone is pleased to be included in the book. The founder of Girls Who Code, Reshmi Saujani, is making it clear that she doesn’t want the first daughter to use her story. Saujani had careers in law, on Wall Street, and then in politics before going into the tech field to found her organization. She was previously the Deputy Public Advocate at the Office of the New York City Public Advocate and then she ran but lost a 2010 Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives. After her failed bid she founded Girls Who Code to help advance the cause of attracting more women into technology.

Saujani’s varied careers would make an excellent example to other women, but just not when her name is attached to Trump. According to CNN:

One passage is devoted to Saujani and Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit that offers free summer courses and after-school programs to teach computing skills to girls.

"She personally witnessed the gender gap in computing classes and set out to do something about it," the passage reads.

In the tweet, Saujani said: ".@ivankatrump don't use my story in #WomenWhoWork unless you are going to stop being #complicit #askivanka."

Representatives for Ivanka Trump are taking it all in stride:

"..., Ivanka has always believed that no one person or party has a monopoly on good ideas. When she was writing this book, she included quotes from many different thought leaders who've inspired Ivanka and helped inform her viewpoints over the years," the statement said.

I wonder whether others who were quoted will make such a big deal rather than consider it an honor to be included in an effort that advances a cause for which they launched nonprofit efforts? 

Sadly, this is another example of the defiant Left unwilling to put partisan politics aside for what could and should promote a good cause - helping women move ahead in their careers. Perhaps Saujani was fearful that her Democrat card might be revoked for being in Trump's book and wanted to get ahead of the story.

The irony is that Saujani recently gave a speech at Rochester Institute of Technology, titled “Closing the Gender Gap in Technology.” Drawing from her own book, Women Who Don’t Wait in Line, she advocates for female leadership that among other things promotes mentorship and sponsorship, and boldly charting your own course. I guess that philosophy comes with an asterisk (*) : doesn't apply if your last name is Trump.

 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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