Ellen Pao, a former employee at a venture capital firm aligned with Facebook, brought a gender discrimination lawsuit against the firm and the social media company. She alleged that claimed she was punished and eventually fired in 2012 from her job as junior partner at her former firm, one of Silicon Valley’s most famous venture capital firms, for questioning the firm’s treatment of women.
And although the court did not find sufficient evidence of discrimination or retaliation, her courageous steps in coming forward will likely encourage other women facing gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace to be heard. A representative noted:
“Despite the jury’s decision today, Ellen Pao’s case is a win for any woman facing gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace, in Silicon Valley and beyond. The curtain has been pulled back, providing a rare glimpse into the lack of equal employment opportunities for women in Silicon Valley.
Very few gender discrimination cases actually make it to trial, and other
women who have experienced discrimination will hopefully be influenced
to come forward, thanks to Ms. Pao’s courageous step.”
Often, those who face workplace discrimination – whether race, gender, age, or any other form of discrimination – are fearful of coming forward, and worry about retribution or retaliation. However, the federal government has also made it illegal to retaliate against someone for complaining about discriminatory conduct.
Many see this case as a watershed moment that will shine a light on discriminatory conduct. Ms. Pao stated that the “battle was worth it” if she helped women and minorities.
For more information or if you believe that you may have suffered any type of employment discrimination, please contact the experienced Georgia employment discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP, LLC for an immediate case evaluation.