Ellen Pao Lost Her Suit Against Famous VC Firm But Won The Real Battle
On Friday, interim chief of Reddit Ellen Pao lost her gender discrimination lawsuit against former employer and one of the very notable venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Pao shocked everyone in the tech world when she accused venture capital firm of discriminatory practices. She said that, on course of her employment and promotion matter she was discouraged by her employer just because she was a female. And when she complained, Ms.Pao posed, the employer retaliated and eventually fired her.
However, she could not convince the court with her claims. Despite winning overall, the firm had a narrow escape from being convicted as the court said dismissing Pao eventually wasn’t a justifiable act.
Ellen Pao has attained nothing out of this suit. But she has made the world question affairs of such colossal businesses in Silicon Valley. She has at least been able to prompt serious thinking about women position in the technology and venture capital, a law professor at Stanford University told NYT.
“This case sends a powerful signal to Silicon Valley in general and the venture capital industry in particular,” Ms. Rhode commented. “Defendants who win in court sometimes lose in the world outside it.”
The response which Pao has got from the world on her historic initiative can serve as the wake up call for many other women execs who undergo prejudices and discrimination, are harassed but never dare to challenge the unjust treatment by employers.
Such an act requires courage but there are certain factors which quiet women from speaking up against discrimination. One most important curtailing factor is the abstract nature of discrimination. Though it is a crime as it is not physical and leaves no proofs, the juries can not base their decisions on sentiments and suppositions neither on general truths. Thus such suits have never been very successful. Pao, too, could not persuade court — court which was too “careful.”
As Kleiner lawyer Lynne C. Hermle said it “never occurred to me for a second that a careful and attentive jury like this would find either discrimination or retaliation.”
Kleiner had little to celebrate probably because they knew Ms. Pao had achieved the results she was looking for.
Ellen Pao bade jury a good bye before she headed out for a brief conference where she said: “If I’ve helped to level the playing field for women and minorities in venture capital, then the battle was worth it.”