Why These Female Tech Execs Are Meeting With Donald Trump Today

December 14, 2016, 10:59 AM UTC

When Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz meets with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan on Wednesday, she intends to offer her support and make suggestions on how he can strengthen the U.S. technology industry.

“I plan to tell the president-elect that we are with him and will help in any way we can,” Catz said, in a statement ahead of the meeting. “If he can reform the tax code, reduce regulation and negotiate better trade deals, the U.S. technology industry will be stronger and more competitive than ever.”

Catz, No. 10 on Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women list, is one of several high-powered CEOs meeting with Trump Wednesday at a tech summit in New York. Also on the list of high-ranking female executives attending the meeting, according to Recode, are Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty.

Check out our 2016 list of the Most Powerful Women in Business

Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins will also reportedly attend the tech summit, which is expected to focus on job creation. Given Trump’s history of making lewd comments about women, the inclusion of female business leaders is a notable and welcome move.

Wednesday’s meeting will come after the tech sector broadly opposed Trump’s candidacy, motivated by concerns from data privacy to telecom regulation. Another big concern was the potential impact of Trump’s immigration stance on tech staffing. Silicon Valley workers’ political donations illustrated their stark allegiance; they gave 60 times more money to Clinton than to the incoming president, according to NBC News.

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But as Trump repeatedly taps CEOs for high-profile positions in his administration—most notably Exxon’s Rex Tillerson for secretary of State—many business executives seem to be willing to help the president-elect from a variety of capacities.

IBM’s Rometty, for instance, is already a member of Trump’s so-called Strategic and Policy Forum, a collection of business leaders that will “provid[e] their individual views to the president.” Rometty was especially proactive in reaching out to Trump after the election. In mid-November, she wrote an open letter to him about creating “new collar” jobs. (Her sunny message to Trump irked at least one IBM employee. A senior content strategist wrote her own open letter to Rometty and announced she was resigning.)

In a USA Today piece published on Tuesday afternoon, Rometty reiterated her message and promised to hire and train U.S. employees. “We have thousands of open positions at any given moment, and we intend to hire about 25,000 professionals in the next four years in the United States,” she wrote. Rometty’s op-ed did not mention that IBM has cut thousands of jobs in recent years, and a company spokesman declined to say how her hiring pledge might be offset by staff reductions.

Catz, meanwhile, reportedly met with Trump’s team last month about a possible cabinet post. There are few public details on the meeting, but Fortune‘s Barb Darrow reported at the time that a position like Treasury secretary might make sense for Catz given her extensive experience in finance. Catz is co-CEO of Oracle alongside Mark Hurd and this year ranked as the highest-paid on Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women list.

Facebook’s Sandberg publicly backed Clinton in the election, and at one point, she was rumored to be considered for a cabinet position in a possible Clinton administration, though she said in October that she was uninterested in becoming Treasury or Commerce secretary if Clinton won.

Following Trump’s shock victory, Sandberg struck a neutral tone calling attention to a “peaceful transition of power,” and highlighting some of the women, like California Senator-elect Kamala Harris and Illinois Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth, who did notch wins at the ballot box.

In meeting with Trump on Wednesday, Sandberg may be making good on the comments she posted on Facebook after election night: “We have real challenges to face as a country. The only answer I’ve ever known to facing any challenge is to work harder. Today we pledge as Americans to keep working for a better future for everyone. Today we recommit ourselves to leaning in.”

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