trump first family social media ganim pkg tsr_00001506.jpg
@DonaldJTrumpJr/Twitter
trump first family social media ganim pkg tsr_00001506.jpg
Now playing
02:25
First family shows new look at White House
=Ivanka Trump, White House adviser and daughter of President Donald Trump, speaks during an Axios360 News Shapers event August 2, 2018 at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Axios held the event to discuss workforce development and 'news of the day.'  (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
=Ivanka Trump, White House adviser and daughter of President Donald Trump, speaks during an Axios360 News Shapers event August 2, 2018 at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Axios held the event to discuss workforce development and 'news of the day.' (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:16
Ivanka Trump: Family separations a low point
Labels and winter jacket clothing for the Ivanka Trump brand of clothing in a store in Madison, Wis., on Dec. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
Jon Elswick/AP
Labels and winter jacket clothing for the Ivanka Trump brand of clothing in a store in Madison, Wis., on Dec. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
Now playing
02:20
Ivanka Trump closing clothing company
steven mnuchin ivanka trump jerusalem embassy plaque sot_00001225.jpg
Host TV
steven mnuchin ivanka trump jerusalem embassy plaque sot_00001225.jpg
Now playing
00:39
Ivanka Trump, Mnuchin unveil embassy plaque
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 27:  Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, listens while meeting with women small business owners with Trump, not pictured, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on March 27, 2017 in Washington, D.C.  Investors on Monday further unwound trades initiated in November resting on the idea that the election of Trump and a Republican Congress meant smooth passage of an agenda that featured business-friendly tax cuts and regulatory changes. (Photo by  Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
Andrew Harrer/Pool/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 27: Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, listens while meeting with women small business owners with Trump, not pictured, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on March 27, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Investors on Monday further unwound trades initiated in November resting on the idea that the election of Trump and a Republican Congress meant smooth passage of an agenda that featured business-friendly tax cuts and regulatory changes. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:31
Panelist: Ivanka helps make Trump look better
TOPSHOT - Ivanka Trump listens while her father US President Donald Trump speaks via video with NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station from the Oval Office of the White House April 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Ivanka Trump listens while her father US President Donald Trump speaks via video with NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station from the Oval Office of the White House April 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:26
Sources: FBI investigating Ivanka Trump deal
US President Donald Trump speaks alongside his daughter, Ivanka Trump (L) and her husband, Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner (R) during a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, October 16, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump speaks alongside his daughter, Ivanka Trump (L) and her husband, Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner (R) during a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, October 16, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:04
NYT: Trump using Kelly to push out Ivanka
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 22: (AFP OUT) Ivanka Trump participates during  the American Leadership in Emerging Technology Event in the East Room of the White House June 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 22: (AFP OUT) Ivanka Trump participates during the American Leadership in Emerging Technology Event in the East Room of the White House June 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:39
Ivanka Trump's role at the White House (2018)
richard blumenthal jared kushner no business in white house sot sitroom_00000000.jpg
CNN
richard blumenthal jared kushner no business in white house sot sitroom_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:33
Blumenthal on Kushner: No business being in WH
Jared Kushner at the Royal Court after US President Donald Trump received the Order of Abdulaziz al-Saud medal in Riyadh on May 20, 2017.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Jared Kushner at the Royal Court after US President Donald Trump received the Order of Abdulaziz al-Saud medal in Riyadh on May 20, 2017.
Now playing
01:53
Top secret vs. secret: What Kushner can't see
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 25: Ivanka Trump (R) arrives with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (L) to visit U.S.A House on day sixteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 25, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. Ivanka Trump is on a four-day visit to South Korea to attend the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Carl Court/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 25: Ivanka Trump (R) arrives with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (L) to visit U.S.A House on day sixteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 25, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. Ivanka Trump is on a four-day visit to South Korea to attend the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:11
Ivanka Trump found this question inappropriate
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 24:  Ivanka Trump attends the Snowboard - Men's Big Air Final on February 24, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. Ivanka Trump is on a four-day visit to South Korea to attend the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.  (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Carl Court/Getty Images
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 24: Ivanka Trump attends the Snowboard - Men's Big Air Final on February 24, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. Ivanka Trump is on a four-day visit to South Korea to attend the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:32
Ivanka Trump practices diplomacy at Olympics
Now playing
02:08
Ivanka Trump: Tax reform 'critically important'
melinda gates paid parental leave american opportunity_00011227.jpg
melinda gates paid parental leave american opportunity_00011227.jpg
Now playing
04:15
What Melinda Gates told Ivanka Trump about paid leave
Ivanka Trump (C) addresses the event "A Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking" on September 19, 2017 at the United Nations in New York.  / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERT        (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
Ivanka Trump (C) addresses the event "A Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking" on September 19, 2017 at the United Nations in New York. / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:01
Ivanka Trump: Human trafficking unacceptable
the daughter of the US President Ivanka Trump and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde attend the Women's Entrepreneurship Finance Event at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
the daughter of the US President Ivanka Trump and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde attend the Women's Entrepreneurship Finance Event at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:16
Ivanka Trump sits in for dad at G20 meeting

Story highlights

Ivanka Trump backs move to end Obama-era rule on gender gap wage data collection

Kara Alaimo: She's in the wrong, but it's not too late for businesses to do the right thing

Editor’s Note: Kara Alaimo, an assistant professor of public relations at Hofstra University, is the author of “Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street: How to Practice Global Public Relations and Strategic Communication.” She was spokeswoman for international affairs in the Treasury Department during the Obama administration. Follow her on Twitter @karaalaimo. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

CNN —  

The White House announced this week it will no longer require businesses with more than 100 employees to collect data on salaries by race, ethnicity and gender. The administration issued a statement by Ivanka Trump, claiming that the rule implemented by the Obama administration “would not yield the intended results.”

“We look forward to continuing to work with the (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), (Office of Management and Budget), Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap,” the first daughter said.

But she didn’t explain why she thinks the rule wouldn’t work.

I challenge her to explain exactly why she thinks collecting this kind of data would not “yield the intended results” – and what the administration intends to do to fix the problem.

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, overall, women earn 82% of the pay of men. But black women earn just 63% of the pay of men, while Latinas earn 57% of men’s salaries.

Ivanka Trump’s statement is a kind of doublespeak: She claims to support equal pay – and has even tweeted about it – but the administration’s move will create an environment in which the opposite happens. And it appears that the White House chose her to deliver the message because the administration thought it might be more convincing coming from a woman.

But it isn’t.

Requiring businesses to gather pay data is critical: The first step in solving a problem is acknowledging that the problem exists. Unless companies are made to collect this data, they may not realize they’re paying men and women differently. And if the data doesn’t exist, others can’t use it to prove discrimination.

A White House official acknowledged to CNN that Trump was initially inclined to keep the data collection going. I suspect the policy reversal may be an effort by the administration to smooth over recent difficulties between the business community and the White House.

Last month, the President’s business councils dissolved after mass defections of chief executives who were horrified by his assertion that white supremacists and anti-hate protesters were both to blame for violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Getting rid of the requirement to report pay is more in line with this administration’s aggressively pro-business policymaking.

Business groups have long opposed this rule. A Chamber of Commerce executive claimed before it was enacted that it would put “onerous burdens” on companies to collect data. Really, though, executives likely opposed the rule because it would push them to take difficult steps to fix the pay gap.

If this is the way the White House is looking to make amends with the business community, corporate executives should refuse the offer. If they’re not required to report pay data to the government, businesses should voluntarily do so anyway – to the public. The only way women and minorities can effectively demand that their bosses pay them equally is if they know what others are making. And the only way corporations can prove they’re acting responsibly to address the problem is if they make their numbers known.

The first daughter is clearly in the wrong. But it’s not too late for businesses to decide to do the right thing.