(Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
Did someone say publicity stunt? On February 13, President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a white house meeting to discuss the advancement of business women in senior leadership roles. They announced a new task force dedicated to women in business. The meeting’s attendees included Ivanka Trump and a table full of ten female business executives from both the United States and Canada.
While Trudeau is a self-proclaimed feminist, Trump has been repeatedly accused of sexual harassment and chauvinism, and a seemingly pro-women move may have been an effort to better his image. During the State of the Union the president boasted, “With the help of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we have formed a council with our neighbors in Canada to help ensure that women entrepreneurs have access to the networks, markets, and capital they need to start a business and live out their financial dreams.” Critics of the photo-op add that the meeting was only 35 minutes in length, suggesting that no real discussion could have taken place.
Superficially, the initiative seems honorable, but there appears to not be any sort of infrastructure or set plan for the Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders (CUSCFAOWEABL). When pressed for details about when the council would next meet, Canadian spokesmen replied with, “Nothing is scheduled at the moment,” and “I couldn’t give you a specific timing, but it is in the works.” As journalists have reached out to the CEOs who attended the meeting, it appears that they have received no information about upcoming plans for CUSCFAOWEABL either.
Alanna Shingler Staff Reporter