Ellen Pao Goes In-Depth on Sexism in Silicon Valley

Today’s must-read longread is Ellen Pao’s description of sexism in Silicon Valley:

In retrospect, there were some early warning signs, like when John declared that he’d specifically requested an Asian woman for my position. He liked the idea of a “Tiger Mom–raised” woman. He usually had two chiefs of staff at a time, one of each gender, but the male one seemed to focus mostly on investing and the female one did more of the grunt work and traveled with him. “There are certain things I am just more comfortable asking a woman to do,” John once told me matter-of-factly.

This excerpt from Pao’s forthcoming book Reset is an incredible piece, and not only because it begins with an anecdote of a CEO building rapport at the beginning of a business discussion—at which Pao was the only female participant—by asking another executive what types of sex workers he preferred.

Seven months later, I would sue Kleiner Perkins for sexual harassment and discrimination in a widely publicized case in which I was often cast as the villain — incompetent, greedy, aggressive, and cold. My husband and I were both dragged through the mud, our privacy destroyed. For a long time I didn’t challenge those stories, because I wasn’t ready to talk about my experience in detail. Now I am.

Read the whole thing.

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