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Ellen Pao rediviva: Still trying to spin $16 million Silicon Valley sex-bias loss into a win

May 4, 2016

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Massachusetts Conference For Women

Pao onstage: Soi-disant poster child for tech-world’s lack of “diversity”

Remember Ellen Pao? She’s the gal who filed the $16 million dollar gender-bias suit against  venture capitalists Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers that was supposed to blow the lid off of male-dominated Silicon Valley.

Ha ha! It took a jury in 2015 only a couple of hours–after a two-month trial!–to find in favor of Kleiner on all four counts of Pao’s supposedly landmark sex-discrimination suit. Pao had alleged that Kleiner had failed to promote her from junior to senior investment partner because she was a woman and had fired her in 2012 after she complained about discrimination against women at the Palo Alto firm. The New York Times reported that a majority of the jurors believed that Kleiner actually fired Pao because she wasn’t doing her $560,000-a-year job very well.

But the embarrassing jury loss–not to mention Pao’s subsequent forced resignation as interim CEO of Reddit after she managed to alienate large segments of its user base–doesn’t seem to have fazed Pao one bit. She’s now back in the Valley with the same old claims about gender discrimination, “old-boy” culture, and general maltreatment of women in the high-tech world. This time, though, she’s not bothering with actually getting a tech-related job. Instead, says Vanity Fair, Pao has reincarnated herself as a “diversity activist”:

“Nearly a year later, Pao is back in the spotlight, and she’s embarking on a new venture: Project Include, a nonprofit that will track the diversity numbers of different tech companies and report on the data over time, with the goal of making companies hold up their diversity commitments, according to The New York Times. Venture-capital firms will also be asked to participate, by checking in on their portfolio companies. ‘The standard mantra for every company on diversity statistics is, “We’re not doing well, but we’re working on it,”‘ Pao told the Times. ‘People don’t learn anything from that. Can you tell us what are you actually doing?'”

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

From → Uncategorized

One Comment
  1. Lastango permalink

    I’m getting the feeling the goal of Pao’s “new venture” involves running for a safe seat as a Democrat.

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