Donald Trump is about to unveil his economic plan that is expected to include tax help for working families. Yet, the economic team Trump unveiled on Friday includes zero women, zero people of color, and five men named Steve. When pushed to name a woman he would appoint to his cabinet, his daughter, Ivanka, was the only one who came to mind.
While I'm not surprised, given Trump's track record, I am nevertheless alarmed. Perhaps it's a fool's errand to expect more from the candidate who consistently demonstrates that he doesn't value women as anything more than trophies, but by shutting women and people of color out of positions of power he excludes from his team points of view that reflect more than half of our country's population and the very people who most need a voice.
Having a diverse set of advisors with a wide range of opinions and perspectives leads to more comprehensive and fairer policies. Period. Especially when it comes to economic issues, excluding women means staying blind to the economic concerns of women and working families, and as important, what the workforce looks like today, when women are primary or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of all households.
Now, I understand that men can advocate for policies that support and uplift women and that proper qualifications are, of course, the first priority when choosing advisors. But the identity of those advisors should be among the considerations. Having more elected officials (and advisors to our elected officials) who personally understand and have experienced the hardships and discrimination that women face in this country will lead to the creation of more nuanced and comprehensive solutions to what are very complex problems. Personal experiences factor into policymaking and should not be dismissed; to the contrary, they should be seen as an asset.