Ivanka Trump hosted a dinner party at her new D.C. home Thursday night. On the menu: a discussion about women in the workplace.
According to Politico, the event was attended by several high-powered CEOs, including Mary Barra of General Motors, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan, Mark Weinberger of EY, and Doug McMillon of Walmart—all of whom are on President Donald Trump’s advisory council and met with him at the White House Friday morning.
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Ivanka may not have an official role in the Trump administration but her influence on policy related to women’s rights issues is certain. Trump’s eldest daughter talked extensively during her father’s campaign about the hurdles facing working women and the need for equal pay, affordable childcare, and family leave. She has reportedly been seeking advice from Powell, who ran a massive charitable initiative at Goldman Sachs focused on helping female entrepreneurs. And this isn’t the first dinner she’s organized to discuss women’s issues; she convened a group that included IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert, and Xerox chairman Ursula Burns at Wendi Murdoch’s home in mid-January.
While Ivanka Trump has been running headfirst at issues affecting working women, she has consistently sidestepped the hot-button subject of abortion. Her personal views, she says, aren’t what matter: “I don’t express my views on policy, with one exception as it relates to child care and advocating for women,” she said at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in October.
But if the recent women’s marches are any indication, it may be challenging for Ivanka to create a role as a champion of women’s rights without wading into that issue. Last week, Trump issued an executive order to freeze federal funding to overseas health providers that discuss abortion as a means of family planning. The House also passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act; if passed by the Senate, it will permanently ban federal funding for abortions and deter small businesses from offering comprehensive reproductive health insurance in their plans.