While critics pointed at her lack of experience in the technology sector, Ivanka Trump kicked off CES 2020 with the keynote speech in Las Vegas. Hundreds of Twitter users tweeted the hashtag #BoycottCES to voice frustration with the first daughter's appearance.
CTA President Gary Shapiro defended Trump's selection as the keynote speaker saying, "There's a lot of focus on jobs of the future, and certainly the keynote that I'll be doing with Ivanka Trump will be focusing on... how industry is working with government on this very important issue," he said.
Many women in the technology sector were outspoken in their critique of the decision. Rachel Sklar, an entrepreneur who has campaigned for women to have more opportunities in the tech industry, added, "What an insult to the years and years of protesting how few women were invited to keynote... there are so many great, qualified women. Shame."
Others did not seem to think the decision detracted from the importance of the event. Mark Cuban, the entrepreneur and star of U.S. TV series Shark Tank replied. "I don't care one way or another," he said. "No one has to go to her keynote if they don't want to."
Google pledged back in October 2019 to help train a quarter of a million people for technology jobs, adding its name to a White House initiative designed to get private companies to expand training opportunities for Americans. This initiative was the main focus of the keynote which was done interview style with Shapiro joining Trump on the stage.
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