The Trump administration is making it easier for businesses to pay women and minorities less

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Image: AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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For every dollar a white man earns in the US, a woman earns about 80 cents. Many people are familiar with that data (which comes from the American Association of University Women), but the inequality is even more nuanced. According to analysis by the Pew Research Center, black women, for instance, earn 65 cents to one white-guy dollar; Hispanic women just 58 cents.

The Trump administration doesn’t seem to consider pay disparities a priority, and is now doing away with a key tool for fighting them. In January 2016, the Obama administration began requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to provide information on wages by race and gender to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to the Wall Street Journal (paywall), Trump is scrapping that mandate.

When the pay initiative launched last year, EEOC commissioner Jenny Yang said that collecting pay data would “help fill a critical void in the information we need to ensure that American workers are not shortchanged for their hard work.” She said the data collected would be used “to more effectively focus investigations, assess complaints of discrimination, and identify existing pay disparities that may warrant further examination.”

It would be fair to say that equal pay has never topped Donald Trump’s to-do list, but Ivanka Trump has long presented herself as a champion of gender equality. In a statement on Wednesday, she said she supports the decision to end the EEOC initiative.

“Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results,” Ivanka Trump said. “We look forward to continuing to work with EEOC, OMB, Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.”

Ivanka did not elaborate on the current policy’s deficiencies, or what new “robust” policies would entail. In her capacity as a special advisor to the president, she is currently unpaid.