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Former Marketing Exec for Ivanka Trump Says She Had to Push Hard for Maternity Leave

A former Chief Marketing Officer for Ivanka Trump’s clothing company, Melissa Verez Kraxberger, opened up this week about working for the company during her pregnancy. Her confession was prompted by an ad playing up Donald Trump’s proposed maternity leave plan, which he’s used to try and seem like the better candidate for women.

She reportedly accepted a job offer when she was two months pregnant. At the time, Ivanka Trump didn’t have a maternity leave policy. To be clear, in most cases it’s required that new parents receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. She wrote on Facebook:

“When I asked about maternity leave she said she would 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. 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. Our team–the ones who created #WomenWhoWork and the ones who the hashtag really stood for–fought long and hard to get her to finally agree to 8 weeks paid maternity leave.”

Ivanka took the hashtag and made it the glittering face of her company, hardly acknowledging the women who started it. She herself did not need maternity leave—she could pay people to take care of her children so she could get back to being a CEO. Did she think that everybody else would be able to get right back to work too?

“The company and the #WomenWhoWork platform we created was meant to inspire and encourage women to work at all aspects of their lives and live the lives they wanted to live, but before our eyes she took the platform and made it all about herself… and now it’s being dragged along side of this man who could potentially be the face of our country,” Kraxberger continued, “A man who puts down women and makes lewd comments, a man who is an outspoken rascist, a man with no real vision for our future just scare tactics and threats.”

The former creative director now works for Rag & Bone. In her post, Kraxberger said that Ivanka isn’t a bad person, but “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.”

A brand spokesperson for Ivanka Trump released a statement that said Kraxberger’s confession was a “mischaracterization,” according to Jezebel, and that they do, in fact, offer paid leave and unlimited vacation. 

“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,” the spokesperson wrote.

This election season is heating up, and while Ivanka isn’t the person running for president, her father has built one of his policies around her support for working women—and it turns out she wasn’t totally honest about that.

Temple University, 2019. Magazine journalist and editor, fitness instructor, health and wellness enthusiast. Proponent of lists, Jesus, and the Oxford comma. Will do anything for an iced oatmilk latte. Follow my journey: Twitter + Instagram: @sarah_madaus