Ivanka Trump, A Normal Working Woman, Is Writing A Book For Regular Working Women Just Like You
Great news for fans of empowering information about their careers from women who have really had to struggle for it. Ivanka Trump is writing a book called Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules of Success. According to the Associated Press, the book sold to Portfolio for an undisclosed sum of money, will publish in March of next year and will lay out an “inclusive and celebratory” vision for women in the workplace.
The news was also announced on Trump’s website which is a masterful example of the kind of personal branding expected from women in the public eye who are intent on achieving a notion of success. The focus of Trump’s professional efforts — aside from her father’s political campaign — has been her #WomenWhoWork initiative, a lifestyle cum career blog that wants to “inspire and empower women to create the lives they want to lead.” Recent posts that purport to help women achieve these goals include a list of office hacks that include outsourcing tasks to Postmate and tips on how to wear spring prints to work – scintillating content for women who want to figure out how to get ahead!
Here’s her announcement video.
According to a statement from her publisher, Trump said the following: “Today’s generation of working women is the first to be able to unabashedly embrace the fact that our lives are multidimensional.”We’re deeply invested in our careers, but they don’t solely define us. For us, it’s about working smarter, not harder; integrating our personal passions and priorities with our professional goals in order to architect lives we love.”
Trump’s own announcement on her site clarifies her views.
When I first launched my #WomenWhoWork initiative almost two years ago, I was advised by many of the top creative agencies to lose the word, “work.” One after another, they suggested that the idea of “women and work” wasn’t aspirational and wouldn’t resonate with a millennial audience. I disagreed. If you ask me, there’s nothing more incredible than a woman who’s in charge of her own destiny—and working daily to make her dreams a reality.
As Jezebel rightfully points out, Trump’s book isn’t particularly newsworthy and the territory it will cover has already been covered in full by a variety of women including Sophia Amoruso and Sheryl Sandberg – successful women who dutifully feel the need to share the “secrets” of their own personal success with a hungry audience, desperate for “empowerment” via dressing for the job you want and learning how to delegate. It’s worth noting that Ivanka Trump is terrifically wealthy; it’s also worth noting that the kind of advice slung by a terribly wealthy white woman about how to achieve success in the workplace is not the kind of advice that anyone should be taking.
The best work advice I’ve ever received is from Stacy-Marie Ishmael, the managing editor for the BuzzFeed news app. Occasionally she will show up on BuzzFeed’s Another Round podcast, drop some knowledge and bounce. Her advice is competent, clear-headed and extremely useful. It’s the kind of advice you wish you had when faced with a work challenge; it’s the advice you want when navigating the trenches of a workplace peppered with microaggressions and untoward overtures from shitty white men who firmly believe themselves to be more exemplary than they actually are (you know, like Ivanka’s dad.) It’s the kind of advice I wish I’d had when I was a young person figuring out how to navigate a world that they don’t prepare you for in college. It’s a revelation.
There’s no doubt that Trump’s book will be read by thousands of women, curious to see how the daughter of a racist, sentient sofa stuffed with lasagna meat will provide actionable tips to real working women who need affordable childcare options, maternity leave and sexual harassment policies that protect their rights. Like all things lifestyle, the advice within will probably be aspirational at best. It’s great that these books exist, because women should absolutely write about how to break that ceiling. But, nothing about Ivanka Trump’s career advice will be helpful to women who work as a means to an end and not for “empowerment.” For most women, work is a necessity, not a passion project. We’re good on the success narratives from women who’ve had it far too easy. It’s time to make some room for something useful.