Tags: Ellen Pao | women | work | bias | sex

Ellen Pao: More Women Speaking Up Against Sex Bias at Work

Tuesday, 07 Apr 2015 02:28 PM

In the wake of her defeat in a prominent sex bias lawsuit, Reddit chief executive Ellen Pao says that her case will help other women draw attention to unfair discriminatory practices at work.

In a question-and-answer session with The Wall Street Journal, Pao said that although women are becoming more confident to confront sexism in the workplace, it will be a long, arduous process to actually "fix the problem."

"I think it’s an issue of education and making people aware of it," said Pao. "Women who felt like they were uncomfortable before, that there was something that just wasn’t right, are hopefully now more comfortable pointing it out. They’re now able to point to discussions and research about it.

"I’m definitely seeing a lot of conversations on Twitter, in the press, in different areas. I think it’s something that men are starting to notice, too. A man reached out to me and said: ‘Thank you for highlighting this issue. I’m seeing it now, and I never saw it before.’"

A San Francisco jury last month rejected Pao’s claims of gender discrimination and retaliation during her former position with the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Since the decision by a jury of six men and six women, former employees at Twitter and Facebook have filed their own sexism lawsuits, according to the Journal.

"I think we have moved through a lot of the really blatant issues that are clear-cut and now we’re getting to harder issues," Pao said. "When you look at the overall experience of women in the workplace, they are not succeeding, and that seems pretty clear-cut to me. So how do we fix that problem?"

Saying that men should become "part of the conversation," she continued, "I think it has to be a conversation where men can learn from it, and part of that is by being part of it and engaging in it.

"You see men who will ask their wives, or they’ll ask their sisters or they’ll ask their co-workers who they know well. I think it starts out with those relationships where you feel comfortable, and it moves out from there as you become more aware about these issues."

Pao took particular issue with the way women are scrutinized in the workplace for being too tough or too meek, as opposed to the way men are looked at for the same character traits.

"Women get criticized on both ends, and you have this needle that you have to thread, and sometimes it feels like there’s no hole in the needle," Pao told the newspaper.

"From what I’ve heard from women, they do feel like there’s no way to win. They can’t be aggressive and get those opportunities without being treated like they’ve done something wrong."

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In the wake of her defeat in a prominent sex bias lawsuit, Reddit chief executive Ellen Pao says that her case will help other women draw attention to unfair discriminatory practices at work.
Ellen Pao, women, work, bias, sex
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2015-28-07
Tuesday, 07 Apr 2015 02:28 PM
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