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Ellen Pao Trial Update: May Appeal Her Case Against Kleiner Perkins for Another Landmark Case

( [email protected] ) Apr 09, 2015 06:18 PM EDT
The case that Ellen Pao against Kleiner Perkins for gender discrimination was officially lost on March 27th with a verdict in favor of the Silicon Valley company.  However, the case was an extremely high profile, and it has led to the public wondering if Pao plans to appeal the case, or what is Pao's next move.
Ellen Pao, right, leaves the courthouse with attorney Therese Lawless after the jury ruled against Pao in a sexual-discrimination suit against storied venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The case that Ellen Pao against Kleiner Perkins for gender discrimination was officially lost on March 27th with a verdict in favor of the Silicon Valley company.  However, the case was extremely high profile, and it has led to the public wondering if Pao plans to appeal the case, or what is Pao's next move. 

According to Yahoo News, Pao has told Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric that she is considering an appeal of the decision in her $16 million lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.  She did not give a specific answer about whether or not she would appeal her lost case, but she has certainly proved that she does not support a lost cause. 

The 45-year-old Ellen Pao has become a spokesperson against workplace sexism, especially in the tech-ridden Silicon Valley.  In her first interview after the March 27th verdict, Pao told The Wall Street Journal that her experience cast a spotlight on gender and racial disparities in the tech industry.  People often criticize the tech industry as a "boys club" with not enough minorities. 

For those not familiar with the Ellen Pao case, Pao was a junior partner at Kleiner Perkins, a Silicon Valley company that has backed big tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Zynga.  Pao wanted to be a senior partner, but felt she was constantly denied opportunity due to her gender.  She sued Kleiner Perkins for $16 million, an amount based on lost wages that she would have earned if she had the promotion. Pao claims that she was passed for promotion several times while other male employees were promoted quickly.  She also mentioned a sense of alienation on business trips as her male co-workers would often discuss things such as porn stars and the Playboy mansion. 

According to CNET, Kleiner Perkins has claimed that Pao was denied her promotion because she was not a team player and that her claims had no legal merit.  "There is no question gender diversity in the workplace is an important issue," they said. Kleiner Perkins "remains committed to supporting women in venture capital and technology both inside our firm and within our industry."

The trial has been under a huge magnifying glass of the media, and the ones covering the trail in depth have been given the nickname of "Paoparazzi".  Even though it is not known what Ellen Pao wants to do with a potential appeal, the case has certainly allowed the public to question the existence of diversity within big business, especially related to the tech sector. 

CNET reports that only 30 percent of tech companies' workforce is female, and this information stems from Silicon Valley's big tech giants such as Apple, Facebook, and Google.  In fact, Facebook was sued by an ex-employee who claimed many discrimination and harassment practices at the company.  A similar case came from Twitter, proposing a class-action lawsuit against the company using a promotion process that favors men.