Jury decides Silicon Valley firm did not discriminate against female worker who filed lawsuit

By , on March 28, 2015


Ellen Pao (middle, in white) makes courthouse satement after loss. Screenshot from TechCrunch / Youtube.
Ellen Pao (middle, in white) makes courthouse satement after loss. Screenshot from TechCrunch / Youtube.

SAN FRANCISCO—A jury says a prestigious venture capital firm did not discriminate or retaliate against a female employee in a case that drew attention to gender imbalance and working conditions for women in Silicon Valley.

The jury in San Francisco reached the verdict Friday in the lawsuit filed by Ellen Pao against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

The case shined a spotlight on the technology and venture capital sectors, where women are grossly underrepresented.

Industry consultants said the case had sparked some companies to re-examine their cultures and practices for potential gender bias.

Jurors heard conflicting portraits of Pao during closing arguments. Her attorneys said she was an accomplished junior partner who was passed over for a promotion and fired because the firm used different standards to judge men and women.

A lawyer for Kleiner Perkins countered that Pao failed as an investor at the company and sued to get a big payout as she was being shown the door.