Ellen Pao testifies in case against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Ellen Pao testifies in case against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Ellen Pao testified for the first time in her lawsuit against Menlo Park-based venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Ellen Pao has accused the venture capital firm of gender discrimination and promoting three male junior partners instead of women employees who deserved the position.

Ellen Pao added that she initially turned down a job at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2005 as the she considered the role “too junior” for her. In San Francisco Superior Court, Pao testified that she was informed by the management that she will have an opportunity to invest in companies. Also, she was informed that her job description will be changed from a job with focus on operations to one for investing in companies.

Pao presented herself as an employee whose career stagnated due to gender discrimination and not due to qualifications or abilities. The lawsuit has sparked a discussion on gender discrimination in the Silicon Valley.

Pao added that she wrote a letter to the management in 2012 regarding the ‘disrespect’ the firm had shown towards its female employees. She mentioned that some deserving female candidates were not offered promotion, despite having experience.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed major technology companies in the Silicon Valley including Amazon and Google during early stage.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has contested the claims made by Pao. The firm said that Pao excelled in some areas. However, she could not advance in the career as she was not with the best interpersonal skills and leadship qualities.

Pao left Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and joined social news website Reddit as interim chief executive.

The case has been marked as Pao v. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC, CGC-12-520719, in California Superior Court, in the County of San Francisco.

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