Ellen Pao Loses Gender Discrimination Case Against Silicon Valley Venture Capital Firm

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Ellen Pao walks to a courtroom in San Francisco Superior Court in San Francisco, California March 2, 2015. Pao, a former partner at prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is seeking $16 million for discrimination and retaliation in a lawsuit against the firm, a Kleiner attorney said earlier this month. Kleiner has denied the accusations of discrimination and retaliation, along with accusations that it did not take reasonable steps to prevent discrimination. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY LAW) --- Image by ? ROBERT GALBRAITH/Reuters/Corbis
Photo: Robert Galbraith/Reuters/Corbis

A jury of six men and six women decided that Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers did not discriminate against former employee Ellen Pao. Pao, now interim CEO of Reddit, claimed that the firm did not promote her because she was a woman and retaliated against her for complaints about gender discrimination. There were four counts of discrimination, and the judge sent the jury back to deliberations on the last one after a miscount. They then returned with another verdict in favor of Kleiner Perkins.

A recent study from Babson College shows that the number of women partners at venture capital firms has dropped from 10 percent in 1999 to 6 percent today. Other gender discrimination cases have recently been filed against Silicon Valley companies, including Facebook and Twitter.