US First daughter and presidential aide Ivanka and met with Reddit Inc. co-founder Alexis Ohanian at the White House Tuesday as to discuss paid family leave - something that the tech entrepreneur, who is incidentally husband to tennis star Serena Williams, has been lobbying for recently.
Ohanian, a co-founder of Initialised Capital, met with Ivanka Trump as part of a push for full-fledged federal legislation that would guarantee additional paid leave to mothers and fathers after the birth of a child. Ohanian remarked previously that he had first floated the idea when his daughter Alexis Olympia was born in 2017, with Williams having faced serious and lengthy post-birth medical complications.
“I applaud Mr Ohanian’s advocacy for Paid Family Leave, for both mothers and fathers, an issue that has been of utmost importance to me and this administration", Ivanka Trump said in a statement, going on to address working families:
“Working families across the Country need Paid Family Leave and we’ve developed strong bipartisan support and momentum in Congress on this issue over the past three years", she asserted promisingly.
Current federal law requires employers to offer three months of unpaid family leave, and the president’s socially oriented 2017 tax overhaul included a tax credit for private employers who offer paid leave. However, per the Pew Research Centre, the US remains the only industrialised country that doesn’t require employers by law to provide paid leave for newly-minted parents.
Ivanka had previously highlighted Williams’s post-childbirth woes, tweeting in 2018 it was “ridiculous” that the French Open announced they would not give Williams a seeding when she returned from maternity leave, because her being away from the court appeared to have crippled her World Tennis Association ranking.
The meeting with Williams’ husband comes as Ivanka has given strong backing to the “Pledge to America’s Workers”, something which would potentially help US employers boost education opportunities available to their personnel, as well as social benefits and perks that would have a positive impact on employees’ work and wellbeing. Separately, she has been putting efforts into her own women’s empowerment project: in October 2017, Ivanka Trump launched a women’s entrepreneurship fund with the World Bank and 13 other countries to offer over $1 billion to back women-led businesses, and address legal and regulatory barriers that stifle women entrepreneurs.
This initiative was followed up in 2019 by a $50 million project urging countries to redact laws that bar women from owning property, using transportation,and gaining access to business loans.
Ivanka Trump took on the new role of special assistant to POTUS in March 2017 first as an unpaid federal employee, while before that she is known to have been working at the White House unofficially.