Ivanka Trump champions 'positive change for women' at Berlin summit

Ivanka Trump has said is still "rather unfamiliar" with her role as US first daughter and stressed that, as a White House adviser, she does not represent her fashion business.

Ivanka Trump champions 'positive change for women' at Berlin summit

Ivanka Trump has pledged to push for "incremental, positive change" for women in the US economy and defended her father's attitudes toward women as she made her first international outing as a White House adviser.

Ms Trump told an audience at a conference in Berlin that she is still "rather unfamiliar" with her role as first daughter and adviser.

She drew some groans and hisses when she described her father, US president Donald Trump, as "a tremendous champion of supporting families".

Ms Trump's one-day visit, at the invitation of German chancellor Angela Merkel, gave Mrs Merkel and other officials face-to-face access with the president's influential daughter at a time when world leaders are still trying to discern where his policies will lead.

Mrs Merkel and Ms Trump were part of a high-powered panel discussion at the W20 Summit, a female-centred effort within the Group of 20 countries, entitled "Inspiring women: Scaling up women's entrepreneurship".

They were joined by Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde and the Netherlands' Queen Maxima, among others.

The 35-year-old Ms Trump, who stepped away from running her fashion brand to become an unpaid White House adviser, said she is still finding her feet in her new role.

"I'm listening, I'm learning, I'm defining the ways in which I think that I'll be able to have impact," she said.

She plans "to bring the advice, to bring the knowledge, back to the United States, back to both my father and the president - and hopefully that will bring about incremental, positive change. And that is my goal".

Ms Trump has been a vocal advocate for policies benefiting working women and vocational training.

During Mrs Merkel's March visit to Washington, she organised a discussion with the German leader, her father, and American and German executives about how companies can better train workers.

On Tuesday, moderator Miriam Meckel brought Ms Trump into the discussion with a pointed question about her White House role.

She asked: "As a part of the audience, especially the German audience, is not that familiar with the concept of the 'first daughter' I'd like to ask you: what is your role and who are you representing - your father as the president of the United States, the American people, or your business?"

Ms Trump replied: "Certainly not the latter. And I am rather unfamiliar with this role as well, as it is quite new to me."

Ms Meckel intervened again after Ms Trump described the president as "a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive", noting some groans from the audience.

The moderator, who edits a German business magazine and is also a professor of corporate communications at St Gallen University in Switzerland, said to Ms Trump: "Some attitudes toward women your father has publicly displayed in former times might leave one questioning whether he's such an empowerer for women."

Ms Trump replied: "I've certainly heard the criticism from the media, and that's been perpetuated."

She added that her own personal experience and the fact that thousands of women worked with and for Donald Trump for decades in the private sector "are a testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man".

The first daughter added: "He encouraged me and enabled me to thrive.

"I grew up in a house where there was no barrier to what I could accomplish beyond my own perseverance and my own tenacity."

There was, she stressed, "no difference between me and my brothers. And I think as a business leader you saw that, and as a president you will absolutely see that".

President Trump tweeted that he is "proud of @IvankaTrump for her leadership on these important issues".

While in Berlin, Ms Trump is also visiting a technology college run by the Siemens company and the German capital's memorial to the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis.

She converted to Judaism herself ahead of her 2009 marriage to Jared Kushner.

She has not yet offered specific legislation or publicly revealed how she plans to move forward with the childcare and family leave policies she promoted during her father's campaign, but a senior US administration official said she and others have been working quietly behind the scenes to revise her campaign proposals and to build momentum.

AP

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