Ivanka Trump's appearance at a major tech conference has been met with backlash from several key industry figures. Many of them have been vocal about the situation, claiming that the president's daughter is not a woman in tech, and therefore doesn't have the qualifications to be given a coveted slot to speak at the event.
On Tuesday, Trump spoke at a keynote session at CES, an annual consumer tech conference in Las Vegas. Her appearance drew criticism from those who argued her background doesn't align with the event, tweeting their frustrations using the hashtag #BoycottCES.
Brianna Wu, a video game developer who is running for Congress in Massachusetts, tweeted before the event decrying the decision to give Trump a platform over other women working in tech.
2/ There are thousands of qualified women working at major companies that could deliver a keynote.— Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) January 5, 2020
There are thousands of women engineering the products at CES that could deliver a keynote.
There are dozens of important women journalists that could deliver a keynote.
This is dead on.— Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) January 5, 2020
Beyond the politics of the Trump administration - Ivanka is not a woman in tech. She’s not a CEO. She has no background.
It’s a lazy attempt to emulate diversity - but like all emulation it’s not quite the real thing. https://t.co/MQdGysNQ96
CES finally invites a female keynote speaker and they choose Ivanka fucking Trump. Insulting, to say the least, to call on an unqualified bigot to speak.#CES2020 #CES #womenintech https://t.co/vjOa8kqW2x— Cristina del Mar (@cheninators) January 1, 2020
My face when I heard the news that Ivanka Trump is a keynote speaker at #CES2020 ... like were there no other women available?!?!? I mean couldn’t they have picked a woman who is ACTUALLY in tech?!$&#!$ Why is #CES… https://t.co/i1R3begJi9— Ti Chang (@DesignerTi) January 2, 2020
During the event, Trump spoke with Consumer Technology Association (CTA) President Gary Shapiro about retraining mid- and late-career workers, as well as apprenticeships for people who don’t attend four-year universities, according to ABC.
"Policy discussions are a critical part of the CES program, and we host over 150 policymakers," CES said in a statement to InStyle. "CTA invites officials from every White House – both Republicans and Democrats – to participate in and speak at CES. The future of work is a critical policy topic for the technology sector. Life-changing tech innovations – from artificial intelligence to drones to self-driving vehicles – will create countless new jobs, and our industry has a responsibility to prepare American workers for the jobs of the future. Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump leads the White House efforts on job creation and economic growth through workforce development, skills training and entrepreneurship – and she will address them directly at CES 2020."
Ahead of the event, Shapiro defended Trump's slated appearance in a statement to BBC.
"There's a lot of focus on jobs of the future, and certainly the keynote that I'll be doing with Ivanka Trump will be focusing on... how industry is working with government on this very important issue," he said.
Recently, there have been reports that Trump may step back from her role in the White House however, the administration has yet to confirm these rumors.