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Kleiner Perkins lawsuit spotlights difficulties of proving discrimination

Original post made on May 25, 2012

When a woman filed a lawsuit against a high-profile venture capital firm, it sparked a storm of discussion inside and outside the tech industry.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 25, 2012, 6:22 PM

Comments (8)

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Of course none of us readers know the truth. But it seems to me that the expert quoted in this article answered her own question:

-She questioned why so much time elapsed before Ms. Pao filed a lawsuit. "The one thing I find really odd is that she alleges the sexual harassment happened six years ago and did nothing about it. She's obviously a very bright woman who chose to work in a man's field," Ms. Heverly said.-

Yes, exactly - in 2012, it's still considered a man's field, even with impressive credentials and after being made partner.

I also wonder why they included this & included the less than complimentary info bout the plaintiff's husband. Am I too protective of this plaintiff, or is this article coming across as perhaps slanted?

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Posted by Just reading the news
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on May 25, 2012 at 8:18 pm

This article is definitely slanted. What does the husbands situation have to do with this case?

This is illustrative of the power of the Male dominated world of HIGH TECH, protecting their power and money with the assitance of our pitiful press.

This makes a joke of the Almanac.

Let's wait to see if the WSJ picks up the story and what they "find".

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Posted by The truth
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I don't know anything about Ms.Pao, so I don't know if her allegations are true or not. But I do know some detail about her husband. He appears to be in a very severe financial and legal situation and is raidly going down a path that normally leads to jail and bankruptcy. I would bet that the timing of his wife's lawsuit is no accident. Perhaps she's trying to get a quick settlement to get some cash in the door.

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Posted by feminista
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Any woman who works in a male-dominated field will tell you why she didn't file a suit six years ago (and note she did complain to supervisors, who took no action): she knew that her career would be over if she made an issue of it.

Too bad, almost 50 years after the Feminine Mystique and the feminist revolution that women are still having to deal with these kinds of challenges.

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Posted by Just reading the news
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on May 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

The truth,

They did offer her a quick settlement - if that was her goal it wouldn't have gotten this far and she would have already had some cash.

Her husband's situation has NOTHING to do with her job at Kleiner Perkins.

Sexism is RIFE in Silicon Valley - power to the women who can fight it.

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Posted by Chris
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on May 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm

One reason sexism is still rampant in Silicon Valley is that women are afraid to speak up. They are right to believe they will lose their job. Proving sexual advances and pressure is very difficult and the guys quickly band together to accuse the woman.

A talented woman like Ms. Pao should be able to find a new position quite easily, but the men warn other employers about her lack of cooperation. (I was a recruiter before I retired and I often posed as a future employer to find out what was being said about a potential hire. All too often male executives would find some covert way of implying the woman was trouble.)

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Posted by Margo
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 29, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I find this article biased, as have other writers and was surprised (shocked, dismayed?) that it was written by a woman! It's important that women write fairly, and not lean toward the feminist perspective. This writer leaned the other way. To include the husband's information is totally inappropriate and to say Ms Pao did nothing suggests the writer didn't read her own material. I expect better of The Almanac than this.

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Posted by Fair article
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm

For whatever it is worth (and perhaps nothing), the more interesting nexus with Ms. Pao's husband is not that his hedge fund may have financial difficulties, but he is a well-known figure in NYC where he lives. He is suing a very prominent apartment building there for discriminating against him because he's black. (The Dakota Building, with past and present residents such as John Lennon, Judy Garland and Lauren Bacall). I believe he may have started his current hedge fund company with monies obtained in a much earlier settlement with a former Wall Street employer (again, racial discrimination).

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