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Ellen Pao Appeals The Decision In Her Gender Discrimination Case

After losing the high-profile case in March, Ellen Pao isn’t letting her complaints against venture capital firm KPCB fade away.

Ellen Pao Appeals The Decision In Her Gender Discrimination Case
[Photo: Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Though she didn’t plan on becoming the poster woman for gender discrimination, Ellen Pao’s effort to tell her side of the story in a court case against her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, is pushing her into the spotlight again.

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Pao just filed an appeal to reopen the case she lost in March, a decision that came over two years after she was dismissed from the firm.

After they won, KPCB offered Ellen Pao a new deal: Drop it now or pay us $1 million. The compensation would be used to cover the firm’s legal fees. At the time, KPCB’s spokeswoman Christina Lee said women in tech would be better served by other means than litigation to make progress toward equality.

“We believe that women in technology would be best served by having all parties focus on making progress on the issues of gender diversity outside of continued litigation,” she said.

Pao, now the interim CEO of Reddit, has made some strides for gender equity outside the courtroom. She from their hiring process, announcing that she “won’t reward people who are better negotiators with more compensation,” addressing an issue that has long plagued women who are reticent to ask for more money.

Though it’s still uncertain exactly what Pao’s complaint will be to reopen the case, a report in Re/code suggested that there could be a “return to some pre-trial rulings that restricted access to information about the performance of other Kleiner Perkins employees, both women and men, as well as the time period that could be discussed in front of the jury.”

KPCB is sticking to their side of the argument. So much so that an emailed statement to the press contained almost identical language as the one issued after the offer to Pao to stay mum or pay up.

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The statement said: “A 12-member jury found decisively in favor of KPCB on all four claims. We remain committed to gender diversity in the workplace and believe that women in technology would be best served by focusing on the issue outside of continued litigation.”

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About the author

Lydia Dishman is a reporter writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.

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