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Name: Ellen Pao
Occupation: Attorney, Executive
Super Power: Feminist Warrior
You may not know Ellen Pao. She was a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins, one of the best known Silicon Valley venture capital firms. Pao recently lost a lawsuit against her former employer for alleged sexual discrimination. While it may not have been a controversial case in the jury room, it sparked controversial conversations around water coolers all over Silicon Valley.
Today we honor Ellen Pao not for who she is--because we can’t judge the merits of her case--but for what she did: having the courage to speak up and stand up against one of the most powerful Silicon Valley institutions.
How many of us have kept quiet and continued working diligently in the face of sexual discrimination? We did it because we had ambitions and we feared that if we spoke up for ourselves, it would work against us. It's time things changed.
Thank you, Ellen. You did not "kill the buzz". You lost your personal battle. But, you put one foot forward for women.