A woman who sued a prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm for sex discrimination will be testifying in court. In her lawsuit, Ellen Pao claims that she was denied a promotion while working at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers due to the fact that she was female. She claims that she was fired in retaliation for complaining about the discrimination in 2012.
According to the Pao's attorney, Kleiner Perkins was a male-dominated workplace where women were treated like secretaries and not invited to parties. The attorney further claims that women were subjected to harassment and coarse behavior by male employees at the firm.
Pao Was Given Erotic Poetry and Denied a Promotion
As for Pao's personal experience, she says that a senior male partner gave her a book full of nude sketches and erotic poetry. She also says that another male colleague caused problems for her after she ended a romantic relationship with him. Later, Pao was not permitted to be on the board of a business she helped create, which had also gone public.
In 2010, Pao achieved the rank of junior partner at the firm. Nevertheless, she says that three men who were also junior partners were promoted up from the position before her, but the men had less success and less tenure than she did.
Set to Testify on March 5
Pao is set to testify in the sex discrimination trial on March 5. The trial, which has already lasted for two weeks, could continue for a total of four weeks.
Kleiner Perkins has thus far denied the allegations. The firm says that Pao had performed poorly in the role of getting along well with her colleagues, and this was why she was not promoted from her junior partner position. A job review provided as evidence in court, revealed that Pao was asked to improve her ability to get along with coworkers and stop being dismissive of those who did not meet her expectations.
A senior partner at the firm testified that just 20 percent of Kleiner Perkins' partners are women.
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