Silicon Valley: Ellen Pao loses landmark gender-discrimination case

Court rules that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers did not discriminate against Ms Pao because she was a woman

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The Independent US

A California Superior Court jury on Friday ruled that Ellen Pao was not discriminated against because of her gender by her former employer, the famous venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Ms Pao, a former partner at the firm who now serves as interim chief executive at Reddit, sued her ex-employers for $16m, accusing them of gender discrimination in a lawsuit filed three years ago.

Ms Pao claimed she suffered six years of discrimination and oppressive treatment after she complained about a colleague who allegedly pressured her into a brief affair and which she soon broke off.

The case exposed much of the inner workings of a firm that backed Google Inc and Amazon, painting it as a place with a testing workplace environment and where a former male partner used business trips as opportunities to make advances to female colleagues.

Mr Pao claimed her standing at Kleiner crumbled after she ended a brief affair with partner Ajit Nazre. Her career deteriorated after he and Kleiner started retaliating against her, her lawyers argue.

The jury, comprised of six men and six women, rejected her claims. The case absorbed Silicon Valley, which has a very low percentage of females in the workforce at tech companies, according to media reports.