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Controversy at tech show CES as Ivanka Trump gets keynote slot

M. Taufiqurrahman

The Jakarta Post

Las Vegas, United States  /  Tue, January 7, 2020  /  09:15 am
Controversy at tech show CES as Ivanka Trump gets keynote slot

Ivanka Trump speaks during a lunch meeting with governors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, in Washington, DC, on June 21, 2018. (AFP/Olivier Douliery)

In the Trump era, it appears nothing is free from controversy, even for humdrum tech show Consumer Electronic Show (CES), which runs in Las Vegas, Nevada from Jan. 7 to 10.

Days before the annual event, dedicated to unveiling new products and technologies from flat screen televisions, noise-canceling headphones to 3D mapping software, CES’ organizer had to defend its decision to invite Ivanka Trump, daughter of United States President Donald Trump, to give a keynote speaker at the event.

The daughter and adviser to President Trump is scheduled to deliver a keynote address soon after the CES opening on Tuesday with the theme of "The Path to the Future of Work." President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which organizes CES, will make an appearance with Ivanka.

“As a business leader and entrepreneur, Ivanka Trump is an advocate for creating family-sustaining jobs through workforce development, education and skills training,” said Shapiro, defending his decision to give Ivanka a slot at the prestigious event.

Many have expressed outrage over the CTA's decision, saying that it further shows that the tech industry continues to sideline women leaders in the sector.

Many have expressed outrage on Twitter with the hashtag #boycottCES.

"The day I go to Las Vegas for the consumer electronics trade show and pay to hear daddy’s little princess speak about yet another subject with which she has no background or experience, is the day I lose my mind," Twitter user Alex Bartos said from his handle @itsreallyalexb.

Forbes columnist Carolina Milanesi pointed out that both in the 2017 and 2018 CES, the organizer failed to include a single women to give a keynote address.

In a statement, Ivanka said she would use the CEO platform to discuss ways to help students and workers thrive in the digital economy.

“CES has consistently proven to be one of the most influential technology events in the world and I am excited to join this year for a substantive discussion on the how the government is working with private sector leaders to ensure American students and workers are equipped to thrive in the modern, digital economy,” said Ivanka.

Ivanka has often taken the opportunity to represent her father at a number of international events.

In July last year, a viral video showed Ivanka trying to insert herself into a conversation and appeared to be ignored by leaders involved in the talk; French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Christine Lagarde, the French head of the International Monetary Fund.

Ivanka will join a big delegation dispatched by the White House to appear at this year's CES,

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, and US Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios will be among more than 150 other government officials from the US and around the world expected to attend CES.

In recent years, only one Cabinet official would show up for CES.

 

 

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