In new book, Ivanka Trump gets serious about women at work
Ivanka Trump’s first foray into self-help writing came in 2009 with “The Trump Card,” a breezy compilation of workplace advice, stories about her dealmaker dad and a hefty dose of celebrity namedropping.
But in her second book, released Tuesday, Trump has gone from sassy to serious.
“Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success” offers earnest advice for women on advancing in the workplace, balancing family and professional life and seeking personal fulfilment. She is donating the proceeds to charity and has opted not to do any publicity to avoid any suggestion that she is improperly using her White House platform.
It’s natural that Ivanka Trump’s thinking would evolve. Now 35, she is married and has had three children since she wrote the first book. She has also embraced advocacy for women, first at her fashion brand and now at the White House as an unpaid adviser.
She stepped away from executive roles at the Trump Organization and her fashion brand before joining her father’s administration, though she still owns the brand, which has prompted criticism from ethics experts that she could profit from her rising profile.
A look at her advice from both books:
THEN: Trump offers advice on technology — “check your BlackBerry or iPhone only on the quarter hour” — and warns against “loose-lipped, ill-considered emails.” She gives negotiating tips, such as “be aware of your physical presence” and “understand that people ask for more than they expect to get.” She talks about networking and building a brand, based on her jewelry line experience.
NOW: Trump also discusses how to juggle career and family and live a more purposeful life. She encourages readers to think about how they personally define success, and talks about setting goals, seeking mentors and establishing boundaries. She writes: “Long term, we aren’t remembered for how late we stayed at the office, how many buildings we developed or deals we closed.”
THEN: Noting she was always looking for an “edge,” Trump said that “as long as I can remember, I’ve been in the habit of coming into the office on Sundays.” She added that while she didn’t expect employees to follow suit, “you’d be surprised at how quickly your employees will fall in line behind you when you set this kind of example.”
NOW: In a chapter called “Work Smarter, Not Harder,” she says that when she became a mother she realized that she needed “to set healthier boundaries for myself and stick to them.” She encourages seeking accommodations at work, like asking for flextime or working remotely. “Divorcing ourselves from the reality that we all have full lives isn’t useful or sincere.”
THEN: She dishes about growing up as Donald Trump’s daughter. Michael Jackson — at the time a Trump Tower resident — apparently attended a performance of the Nutcracker in which she danced as a child. Another memory: attending a Mike Tyson fight in Atlantic City, New Jersey, with her father and watching him try to calm an angry crowd after Tyson knocked out his opponent in 91 seconds.
NOW: There is less colorful insight, but Trump does share a few family moments, such as practicing her speech for the Republican National Convention with her three children on the couch. Trump, who converted to Judaism when she married Jared Kushner, discusses observing the Jewish Sabbath from sundown Friday to Saturday night, saying it is “important to unplug and devote that time to each other.”
THEN: Focusing on business success, Trump includes short essays from a variety of executives, featuring record producer Russell Simmons and Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post. A guest writer she probably wouldn’t include in the new book: former Fox News Channel executive Roger Ailes, who resigned last summer following allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances against women, which he has denied.
NOW: Trump looks more to academics and experts on women in the workforce, in addition to celebrities and politicians. She quotes Anne-Marie Slaughter, who five years ago wrote a popular essay in The Atlantic magazine on why she left a job in the State Department during President Barack Obama’s administration to spend more time with her family, and Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, who wrote the book “Lean In,” urging women to take charge of their careers.
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