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Debate continues over points made in Ivanka Trump's new book

May 26, 2017 11:40 AM

Debate continues over the new book written by Ivanka Trump. It’s called "Women Who Work." With her stature and access to the White House, some say Trump has the opportunity to help change the workplace for women, but they say her book missed the mark.

Anastasia Lewitinn runs Butterfly Wings, a non-profit in Troy, providing things to women that government assistance does not. Neenah Bland heads Albany Community Action Partnership, which works to empower women to be economically self-sufficient. Both say the book was geared toward a specific group of working women, but not the ones they work with.

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"It definitely provides some professionalism tips, but not realistic modern woman tips, if that makes sense," noted Lewitinn.

"I thought it was definitely targeted to a specific demographic of women, more so maybe white-collar, professional women," added Bland.

There are chapters on maximizing your influence at work, negotiating like a pro and work-life balance, which Trump says does not exist. She suggests women identify goals and priorities and focus on meeting those goals.

However, Bland and Lewitinn say women they work with have so many challenges -- including poverty, no living wage, and they work at companies that don't support working mothers -- that words like "negotiation" and "influence" don't exist in their world.

"I don't feel as though Ms. Trump has to worry about walking in and going, 'I don't have a sitter. What do I do?' That is a lot of my clients and I know her clients as well," explained Lewitinn, as she gestured towards Bland. "They’re stuck in this kind of circle of poverty, where they have to pay for childcare."

On Sunday, Trump was in Saudi Arabia with her father who met with dignitaries in the Middle East. She advocated for the greater inclusion of women in the Saudi Arabian workforce.

On her return to the United States, both women are hoping she digs deeper on what it's like for all women who work in the country.

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WNYT Staff

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