Ellen Pao, the ex-VC and former interim CEO of Reddit, is back with a new essay about sexism in Silicon Valley. The piece appeared Tuesday morning in Lenny Letter, the newsletter created by Girls’ Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner.
Pao, who has become the most recognizable face of tech’s diversity problem, has been keeping a low profile since September, when she announced that she would not appeal the verdict in her unsuccessful discrimination suit against her former employer, VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In July, she stepped down as interim CEO of Reddit, after sparking a firestorm by firing a well-liked employee of the social media company.
In the Lenny essay, Pao writes about the discrimination she’s seen and experienced, first in the world of law…
…then working as venture capitalist in Silicon Valley:
Nevertheless, Pao concludes that women and minorities have made “meaningful progress” over the past 20 or so years. She credits those advances to the increase in available data—such as companies employee diversity reports—as well as people’s willingness to share their experiences and to hold others publicly accountable for their thoughtless remarks.
Her advice to women toughing it out in male dominated fields? Have a thick skin and speak out about discrimination and harassment.
For those who are curious about Pao’s next act, the final line of her Lenny bio holds a tantalizing clue: “She is contemplating writing a book.”