Ivanka Trump's Former Creative Director Speaks Out on Company's Lack of Paid Maternity Leave
"I'm not writing this because I think Ivanka is a bad person," Marissa Kraxberger wrote in a Facebook post. "I am however saying that if you truly support parenting and children then you actually have to support it fully."
It's been previously reported that Ivanka Trump's parent company G-III doesn't pay for maternity leave — despite the designer's advocacy that her dad, Donald, would support working mothers if he became president. However, a former executive at Ivanka Trump's namesake label is speaking out about the lack of support she received when she was first hired while two months pregnant.
Marissa Kraxberger — the current vice president of creative at rag & bone, who previously served as creative director at Ivanka Trump from September 2013 before getting promoted to chief marketing and creative officer in June 2015 — expressed in a Facebook post that she had been holding back from writing anything about her former employer until she "recently saw a commercial with Ivanka and her father and their 'maternity leave' policy" that made her feel "ill."
Kraxberger recalled being two months pregnant when she was offered the job after her interview, and when she asked about maternity leave, Trump told her she'd "have to think about it, that at Trump they don't offer maternity leave and that she went back to work just a week after having her first child," wrote Kraxberger. "I somehow was dumb enough to accept the job after agreeing upon having the discussion further down the road about how we would handle the time after my baby was born."
The former exec explained that the team, who she said created the #WomenWhoWork hashtag ("the ones who the hashtag really stood for") had to fight to get her to "finally agree to eight weeks paid maternity leave."
"I'm not writing this because I think Ivanka is a bad person," she continued. "I am however saying that if you truly support parenting and children then you actually have to support it fully ... and that also means supporting maternity leave for adopted children and paternity leave as well."
At the Republic National Convention, Trump argued, "As president, my father would change the labor laws that were put in place at a time when women were not a significant portion of the workforce, and he will focus on making quality childcare affordable and accessible for all."
In a recent interview with Cosmopolitan, Trump continued to defend her father's child care and maternity leave plan, which includes six weeks of paid leave to new mothers before returning to work. "It is a terrible thing that we are the only industrialized nation in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave and I am excited to be part of a dialogue about this and, hopefully under a Trump administration, have that changed," she told the glossy.
A brand spokesperson for Ivanka Trump responded with the following statement:
The team at Ivanka Trump is saddened by this mischaracterization of how our company developed its industry leading culture and benefits package. In addition to paid leave, we also offer all employees flexible work schedules and unlimited vacation and sick days.
As a company for women, run by women, we spent a considerable amount of time in the early days of building our business developing a unique corporate culture and engaged in meaningful dialogue about the benefits that would be most impactful to the people working at Ivanka Trump.
While we respect differing political views from employees, past and present, we are steadfast in our belief that we have built a culture and a brand to be proud of and are deeply committed to supporting and empowering women.
Kraxberger's entire post can be read below.