There is a trial going on in San Francisco that has its roots down the road in Silicon Valley. Ellen Pao is suing her former employer Kleiner Perkins — the big-name venture capital firm — for gender discrimination and retaliation.
The trial is offering a rare glimpse into the not-always-transparent side of Silicon Valley: who gets the money and how those decisions are made.
It’s a landmark case, says Re/code reporter Liz Gannes, because it’s surfacing some of the tech industry’s long-time diversity problems.
“It’s bringing together a whole bunch of issues around gender, around what happens at the highest echelon of the tech industry,” Gannes says.
The case is far from over, but Gannes says it’s clear Pao had to deal with some inappropriate workplace situations.
“I wouldn’t say that they’ve really truly established a pattern of gender discrimination yet, but there’s some pretty egregious stuff that’s happened,” says Gannes.
About 20 percent of venture capitalists who make investment decisions are women at Kleiner Perkins, Gannes says.
“These are the people who control who gets money, who builds products,” she says, “and I think it would be a better situation if they were more representative.”
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.