Why Ellen Pao lost: The sexism was so “subtle” that only progressive journos could see it
My latest blog post for the Los Angeles Times:
Annie Lowry of New York magazine admits that Pao couldn’t prove that sexism exists at Kleiner Perkins — but that’s because it’s “the sexism that you can’t quite prove.” Lowry writes:
“The problem is that sexism today very often is not overt. It’s subtle, and that makes it all the more difficult to identify and root out. It’s not your boss hitting on you and then demoting you to secretary when you spurn his advances. It’s your boss describing your assertiveness as too assertive, and suggesting you might be better suited for an operational role.”
Yes, it’s sexism so subtle that you can’t even tell whether it’s there or not. Perhaps the jury couldn’t tell whether it was there or not either — which may be why Pao lost her case.
Posted by Charlotte Allen