Feminists spin like yo-yos explaining away Ellen Pao’s $16 million gender litigation fail
Ellen Pao vs. Silicon Valley, the New York Times feminist spin:
Just as Anita Hill once helped shine a light on overt sexual harassment, Ms. Pao, in suing Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, might have done the same for subtle sexism. The trial was riveting in part because many women could relate to the slights described on the witness stand, like men interrupting women in meetings or assuming they were too preoccupied for a big role because they had children.
Ellen Pao vs. Silicon Valley, the New York Times actual reported story:
The decision handed Kleiner a sweeping victory in a case that had mesmerized Silicon Valley with its salacious details while simultaneously amplifying concerns about the lack of diversity in the technology industry.
Her suit, filed in Superior Court here, claimed that Kleiner did not promote her because of her gender, that it retaliated against her for complaining, that it failed to prevent gender discrimination and that it fired her in 2012 for complaining.
The suit asked $16 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages. Ms. Pao is now interim chief of the social media news site Reddit.
After the jurors rejected each of her four claims, they were found to be one vote short on a claim about her termination. For two hours, doubt reigned, the media unspooled possible outcomes and the jury went back to work. In the end, the problem seemed more juror confusion than anything else, and the claim went down with the others.
The jurors said in interviews they did not take on the role of “conscience of this community,” as one of Ms. Pao’s lawyers had urged in the closing arguments. They focused on the facts at hand, and concluded it was Ms. Pao’s own performance that held her back.
One juror, Steve Sammut, 62, said it was difficult coming to a verdict.
“We were split there for a while,” he said, adding that a key point was how Ms. Pao’s reviews at Kleiner deteriorated over time. He also said the witnesses for Kleiner, most of whom came from the firm, helped seal the case.
Some examples of the “subtle sexism” at Kleiner Perkins:
During the trial, numerous details emerged, including Mr. Doerr’s telling an investigator that Ms. Pao had a “female chip on her shoulder.” Chi-Hua Chien, a partner, said women should not be invited to a dinner with former Vice President Al Gore because they “kill the buzz.” A senior partner at the time, Ray Lane, joked to a junior partner that she should be “flattered” that a colleague showed up at her hotel room door wearing only a bathrobe. Another senior partner, Ted Schlein, seemed never to have heard of the exhortation of Sheryl Sandberg, a senior Facebook executive, that women should “sit at the table,” testifying, “I really don’t think it was a very big deal to us who sits at a table or who does not.”
Ha ha! Never heard of Sheryl Sandberg! $16 million worth of microagressions!
And then we have this:
One of the stranger points brought up in testimony was how Ms. Pao, before she was married, had dated a colleague for six months without ever realizing he was still living with his wife.
Ms. Pao is married to Alphonse Fletcher Jr., a Wall Street financier whose hedge fund is bankrupt. Pension funds are suing to recover their money amid accusations of fraud. Kleiner tried to insert Mr. Fletcher into the case, which would have raised questions about Ms. Pao’s motives in bringing suit, but Judge Kahn refused to allow it.
Mr. Fletcher did not attend the trial.
h/t: Steve Sailer
Posted by Charlotte Allen