Tags: ellen pao | gender | bias | lawsuit | kleiner perkins

Ellen Pao Was 'Combative,' Kleiner Perkins Argues at Sex Bias Trial

By    |   Thursday, 12 Mar 2015 10:51 AM

Ellen Pao and attorneys for her former employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers went head-to-head in a heated exchange Wednesday during cross-examination in Pao's gender bias trial in San Francisco Superior Court.

Pao, a lawyer who's currently serving as the interim CEO of Reddit, is suing Kleiner Perkins for $16 million in damages, claiming that the Silicon Valley venture capital firm promoted male colleagues over women and then punished her when she complained about it, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

During Wednesday's cross-examination, Kleiner Perkins attorney Lynne Hermle challenged Pao's previous testimony and suggested that the former junior partner failed to take immediate action on many incidents that are key to her case.

Kleiner Perkins has painted Pao as combative and resentful, a difficult employee who rejected advice to improve, according to The New York Times. Hermle also insisted that Pao had contentious relationships even with some women in the office.

"[Hermle's cross-examination] called [Pao] cold, territorial, untrustworthy, entitled, and either passive-aggressive to colleagues or maybe just aggressive — the sort of person who an office that depends on relationships would be crazy to promote to a senior role," The Times noted.

In one instance, Pao reportedly sent an email to senior Kleiner partner Matt Murphy, stating: "I should have been informed of and probably invited to Friday's meeting. It's not only polite, it creates a better process."

Murphy then suggested that they speak in person, responding, "Seems like you are telling me what I need to do and that is not resonating with me."

Kleiner Perkins argues that Pao continued the confrontation via email instead of accepting the invitation to resolve the matter face-to-face, according to The Times.

For her part, Pao has accused Randy Komisar, a male senior partner at Kleiner, of making her feel uncomfortable on more than one occasion, once on Valentine's Day when he allegedly gifted her a book containing discussions of sex and drawings of naked women. According to USA Today, Komisar maintains that the book, "The Book of Longing," was a follow-up to a conversation he had with Pao about Buddhism.

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Ellen Pao and attorneys for her former employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers went head-to-head in a heated exchange Wednesday during cross-examination in Pao's gender bias trial in San Francisco Superior Court.
ellen pao, gender, bias, lawsuit, kleiner perkins
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2015-51-12
Thursday, 12 Mar 2015 10:51 AM
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