US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are expected to announce a joint task force initiative to help women combat inequality and injustice in the workplace, according to a White House official who spoke ahead of the two leaders' meeting Monday—the first since Trump has become president.
The Associated Press reports that the initiative—dubbed the United States Canada Council for the Advancement of Women Business Leaders-Female Entrepreneurs—came after Trudeau's office spoke to the White House about joining forces on the cause, and will be announced at a roundtable the two leaders are participating in on Monday.
The roundtable—which will largely be focused on the issues of business and trade between the US and Canada, particularly Trump's adamant push for negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)—will be attended by a number of high-profile female CEOs, including the heads of General Electric Canada (Elyse Allan), TransAlta Corp. (Dawn Farrell), T&T Supermarket (Tina Lee), and a handful of other industrial trade companies.
According to the White House source, the initiative was introduced and pegged as mutually beneficial by Trudeau's team—noting the shared interest of both the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, (who has, in the past, advocated for paid maternity leave and funding for child care), and Trudeau's own push for better workplace rights for women ("Because it's 2015!").
It's unclear exactly what will be proposed Monday by the two leaders, with the White House official only saying that Trump's goal was to "focus on ensuring women enter and stay in the workforce and addressing barriers facing female entrepreneurs."
It's worth considering how Trump's history of vile and offensive remarks about women and female leaders (and his treatment of them in the workplace), which have stood in stark contrast to that of Trudeau—who has proudly called himself a "feminist" in the past.
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