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Ellen Pao Trial: Silicon Valley Secrets and Retaliation

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The many secrets this place held were discussed during the trial [Mboverload|11:51, 7 May 2005, Wikimedia Commons]

One of the hottest cases today is the Ellen Pao trial, a case almost always misconstrued as a sexual harassment case perhaps because Pao is female. However, she is suing venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers not because of this but mainly due to discrimination largely on the part of the firm awarding male senior partners more perks and benefits than they do female partners, of which she is one of.

It?s a case that has made headlines more because of the nature of the secrets right behind it.

This article from The Verge covers most of what Ellen Pao had been trying to make the venture capital firm see?and, perhaps in a move that they weren?t expecting, spilled secrets about the financial behind-the-scenes working of the Silicon Valley. There have been other fallouts from this trial, as well?Ajit Nazre is the main point of discussion in this USA Today article as being one of the unfortunate partners to have had his profits unjustly taken from him.

Trouble in Silicon Valley

Pao?s case appears to have transcended the boundaries of mere gender discrimination.

Whereas it is shown in the Verge article that Pao was treated a bit differently from others who are gender discriminated, it is still clearly based on the fact that she is a female. Pao works in the venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers as one of the partners. However, her male senior partners tend to receive more than she does from the profits the company makes on deals?that?s what didn?t sit right with her and hence, we now have this case.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. It appeared that Ellen Pao?s alleged ?cockiness? was one of the notable benchmarks in the trial. As it appears, the case does have a lot to do with gender discrimination and what is okay with the guys isn?t okay when seen on the women, as evidenced by the testimonies of some of Pao?s superiors when on the stand.

A Bonus Docked

Ellen Pao included in her testimony the seeming retaliation of one Ajit Nazre. as per USA Today.

Nazre was a junior partner at the firm and, more importantly, Ellen Pao?s one-time flame, who appeared to have been retaliating, but that wasn?t why Pao included her in the case. Because of his affair with Pao, it appeared that his 2008 bonus was partly docked. It didn?t seem like it was a big thing at the time, although it clearly is now, when Pao is pointing it out in court.

There is more to come about this trial, which has rocked a lot of people and is bordering on the shaky gender-equality issue.

When is Cocky Confident?

Is cockiness defined as confidence if it is done by males? That seems to be one of the issues of the Ellen Pao trial. However, what defined cockiness in females appeared to be misconstrued as confidence in males, and that appears to be one of the keypoints of the trial, which is just wrong. More to come as the Pao trial develops.


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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