Ellen Pao Loses, Emerges as Silicon Valley Hero

Supporters think things might finally change for women in tech field
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2015 9:38 AM CDT
Ellen Pao Loses, Emerges as Silicon Valley Hero
Ellen Pao walks to Civic Center Courthouse in San Francisco on Friday.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Ellen Pao lost her lawsuit alleging that the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers discriminated against her because she's a woman. But a common theme emerging after yesterday's verdict is that while Pao lost her own battle, she inflicted real damage on the boys-club atmosphere in Silicon Valley. Two examples:

  • Katie Benner, Bloomberg: A slew of discrimination cases in Silicon Valley preceded Pao's, but they all largely faded from the national conversation thanks to the obscurity of tech blogs or legal settlements. Not this one. Pao refused to settle, and her case "broke wide open the issue of sexism in a powerful, influential industry. And as I wrote this column, a louder group of voices has emerged on Twitter, tagging their tweets with #thankyouellenpao."

  • Farhad Manjoo, New York Times: "Not only have weeks of testimony revealed a collection of boorish, unsavory and at times unwittingly misogynist attitudes at one of the tech industry’s most storied financial institutions, the case has also come to stand for something bigger than itself. It has blown open a conversation about the status of women in an industry that, for all its talk of transparency and progress, has always been buttoned up about its shortcomings."
(More Silicon Valley stories.)

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