Ellen Pao Back In Venture Capital Biz

Vidhya Bharathi
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Venture capitalist Ellen Pao, who lost the famous 2012 lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, has joined Kapor Capital as an investment partner and the chief diversity and inclusion officer for Social Impact, an organisation working towards using technology to improve lives.


Kapor Capital, which lists Uber Technologies and Alphabets Inc.'s Dropcam, has been advocating diversity for long now. The funding company looks for diversity measures in a startup before investing in it.

Talking about the change, Pao told Bloomberg, "It's the culmination of my interest and my experience, and the ability to work with Mitch and Freada and their team is really amazing for me." "I think it's a huge opportunity," she said.

The 2012 lawsuit brought Ellen Pao and workplace gender discrimination in the tech space in the spotlight. Ellen Pao sued her company for $16 million, on part of lost wages and what she could have earned had she gotten her promotion.

Pao appeared at the court with various examples to prove the discriminatory behaviour at Kleiner. She described the all-male business trips to Colorado and dinner parties where women weren't invited because "women kill the buzz". Another instance she pointed out at the court was her male colleagues talking openly about porn stars and playboy mansion.

Though the judge had written that there was enough evidence to conclude that Kleiner Perkins engaged in intentional gender discrimination, Ellen Pao lost the court battle in 2015. In spite of losing the battle, Ellen Pao had won the case of creating awareness about gender discrimination against women in tech.

She joined Reddit during the trial and later became the interim CEO of the company where she undertook the cause of reducing harassment on the online forum. Within a year, she quit her job and co-founded Project Include to advocate the cause of best practices for tech companies. Pao helped women, people of colour and immigrants build portfolios as well.

Feature Image Credit: Wall Street Journal

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Gender discrimination ellen pao Kapor Kleiner Venture Capital