A San Francisco County Superior Court jury has spoken in a case that riveted Silicon Valley, but that doesn't mean all's over.
In a verdict delivered Friday, a jury found that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of the nation's most prominent venture capital firms, didn't discriminate against one its employees, Ellen Pao, and didn't fire her in retaliation for her protesting her treatment. The decision has left a number of uncertainties.
Will male-dominated Silicon Valley change its ways?
Not anytime soon, some fear.
“The outcome of the trial sends a message that women simply have to accommodate to such disappointing cultures,” said Bernice Ledbetter of the practitioner faculty of organizational theory and management at Pepperdine University.
But in the weeks leading up to the hearing of the case, some venture capitalists said the lawsuit put them on notice and that they were stepping up efforts to find ways to promote women. Only about 5% of decision-makers at venture-capital firms...Read more
She didn’t expect the trial to become a media circus. She’d never even heard of the plaintiff, Ellen Pao, or the defendant, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, before the first day of the trial. But Marshalette Ramsey, known as “Juror 2” in the high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit, quickly learned.
The 41-year old transit manager from San Francisco spent the past five weeks with 11 other jurors hearing evidence in a case she didn’t yet realize was being followed by newspapers, websites and television stations around the world.
Pao had sued claiming gender discrimination and retaliation. After more than a month of testimony, the jury deliberated three days before voting in Kleiner Perkins’ favor on Friday.
Ramsey was one of only two jurors to vote in Pao’s favor on every claim she brought against the VC firm.
“I looked at how the men [at Kleiner Perkins] performed, and I wasn’t seeing differences huge enough to see it justify leaving Ellen Pao behind,” Ramsey...Read more
SAN FRANCISCO — A civil jury on Friday returned a verdict in the high-profile Ellen Pao gender discrimination case, finding that powerful venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers did not discriminate against her because of her gender and did not retaliate when she protested her treatment.
The jury of six men and six women deliberated for three days after a five-week trial that captivated the tech world and highlighted many of the gender bias issues facing women in the heavily male industry.
The decision, closely followed around the world, disappointed those who have condemned Silicon Valley, and the tech industry in general, for its lack of workforce diversity.
“Men in VC firms are breathing a sigh of relief and women in tech are feeling defeated,” said Melinda Briana Epler, chief executive of Change Catalyst, a San Francisco organization that supports female entrepreneurs. “A lot of hearts clearly sank after hearing the verdict.”
Some, however, wonder whether too many hopes...Read more
The nation's biggest broadband providers oppose tough net neutrality regulations because they want “unfettered power” over the Internet, the head of the Federal Communications Commission said Friday.
In his most robust defense so far of the new rules, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler predicted court challenges by the telecommunications industry would fail.
And he said the “avalanche of arguments” against regulations designed to ensure the free flow of online traffic showed that the industry’s major firms had ulterior motives.
“We should conclude that the biggest broadband providers in the land have one objective — to operate free from control by their customers and free from oversight from government,” Wheeler said in a speech at Ohio State University.
“If they succeed, then, for the first time in America’s communications history, private gatekeepers will have unfettered power to control commerce and free expression,” he said.
Wheeler crafted the controversial regulations that the...Read more