Ellen Pao drops lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins

11 Sep 2015

After a lengthy legal battle that brought sexism within the tech industry to the forefront, Ellen Pao has decided to throw in the towel and call an end to the lawsuit against her former employers Kleiner Perkins.

Ellen Pao first filed the lawsuit back in 2012 after being let go from the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, which, she claimed, was due to her raising a complaint that she was denied promotions due to her gender, and faced reprisals for suggesting so.

After nearly three years of costly court appearances, the court ruled earlier this year against her case, but Pao seemed likely to appeal the decision, despite Klenier Perkins promising to drop all legal costs if she did not appeal.

Now, according to Re/code, she has decided to drop the lawsuit.

In an interview, Pao said: “That so many people heard what I had to say, against all that was brought to bear against me, is a testament to the depth of the problem related to women and tech… [But] I have gone as far as I can go and cannot commit the resources and time that would be needed to continue.”

As part of her dropping the lawsuit, she would agree to pay Kleiner Perkins US$270,000 in legal fees that also carry 10pc annual interest, which is somewhat confusing given Kleiner Perkins’ previous offer to Pao.

This does not mean that the two parties have agreed a settlement, however, with Pao saying: “To be clear, Kleiner and I have not reached any agreement to settle this matter. Settlement might have provided me with financial benefits, but only at the great cost of silence.”

In her piece published in Re/code she said that she hopes other companies take something from the legal battle.

“I have a request for all companies: Please don’t try to silence employees who raise discrimination and harassment concerns. Instead, allow balanced and complete perspectives to come out publicly so we can all learn and improve. I and many others are eager to hear more stories being shared by women and minorities.”

Ellen Pao image via Christopher Michel/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic