A firestorm is raining down upon the Consumer Technology Association after it foolishly named Ivanka Trump the keynote speaker of its annual show in Las Vegas, insulting female tech industry leaders across the country and around the world.
Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show highlights new technologies and features presentations and speeches from industry leaders. In January 2020, however, Ivanka Trump is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech even though she has no experience whatsoever in the technology field and has set women back decades by remaining complicit with her father President Donald Trump’s anti-women policies. She also recently drew outrage after cruelly writing off the children in cages on the border as not in her “portfolio” during a recent interview.
Ivanka Trump will join the #ces2020 keynote stage to talk about her work as co-chair of the National Council for the American Worker and the role tech plays in creating the workforce of the future. https://t.co/TcTTxRNIWo
— CES (@CES) December 23, 2019
The decision particularly angered female tech industry professionals, such as Cindy Chin, CEO of the consultancy CLC Advisors.
“There needs to be more systematic representation of speakers across the board and not just for keynotes,” she told The Guardian. “It would be better if the background of the keynote speaker actually fit the industry it is serving and inspirational rather than talking heads and political.”
Other female tech pros also weighed in, including Massachusetts congressional Democratic candidate Brianna Wu, Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant, and cybersecurity expert Chey Cobb.
The top headlines from #CES last year were internet connected toilets.
CES 2020 isn’t looking better. https://t.co/Msqh7VMtaS
— Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) December 29, 2019
— Chey “Cyber Cassandra” Cobb (@chey_cobb) December 29, 2019
Hmmm so this Ivanka CES announcement and her appearance on Face the Nation today is interesting. I think she really may be trying to “formally” run for something. ??
— Kimberly Bryant (@6Gems) December 30, 2019
And they were far from the only ones who voiced opposition to Ivanka Trump’s selection as a keynote speaker as other Twitter users condemned the decision and vowed to boycott the event in protest.
Why is a failed handbag designer who advocates for locking toddlers in cages speaking at @ces?
— andreasgal (@andreasgal) December 24, 2019
— Lizzie Rosenberg (@bizzielizzie84) December 30, 2019
You’ve got to be kidding me. Literally any other business person would be more successful and ethical.
Head’s up, protests are starting to be organized for this stunt.
— Kelly Rossi? (@MissRossi) December 25, 2019
As a Vegas resident and regular attendee, I’m gobsmacked she’s a keynote at CES.
Not cool. #CES2020
— Kristine Schachinger (@schachin) December 25, 2019
— Mindy Diane Feldman (@hometweethomeNY) December 29, 2019
Was Beelzebub himself not available?
— Josh Martin (@joshisasoftie) December 23, 2019
As a woman in tech, I find this extremely insulting that you put her on a pedestal. Get someone who has contributed to the betterment of society. What are her own achievements? She is profiting off her position which came to her family illegitimately.
— Kelly (@kellykbergeron) December 30, 2019
I will now not be attending and will remove my live streaming company from attending in the future. This is an insult to the immigrants who are the backbone of the tech industry.
— Mike Rotman (@mikerotman) December 30, 2019
This is an insult to all the highly qualified scientists, engineers, educated and experienced women who are working hard every day to scratch out a place at a table in the tech industry.
— Sbeen (@justhefactsMs) December 30, 2019
Clearly, the association should reconsider their decision. And they better hurry because they only have a few days to make things right before they have to live with the shame of giving a platform to a complicit grifter who only fakes caring about women and workers and pretends she knows what it’s like to work for a living.
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