Ellen Pao talks discrimination in the workplace, new book “Reset”

In our ongoing series, Issues That Matter, “CBS This Morning” is taking a closer look at gender discrimination in the workplace.    

Tech investor Ellen Pao made headlines during her 2015 gender discrimination trial against the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Pao claimed in the $16 million lawsuit that she experienced bias as an employee of the firm. She said she was overlooked for promotions and suffered retaliation after she complained.

The case became one of the most prominent lawsuits of its kind, and Silicon Valley was riveted by testimony about Pao’s experience in the powerhouse firm. Pao lost the suit, but she helped revolutionize the national conversation about gender equality in the tech industry and other fields.

In an interview with “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday, Pao said she has no regrets about bring about the lawsuit.

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“From all of the support that I’ve received and from the change that I’m starting to see, and perceptions of how people are treated, it’s been worth it,” she said.

But Pao, who is revealing her story for the first time in a new memoir called “Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change,” said in order to see real change, “you have to change everything about the system.”

“You’re bringing people in in a system that interviews in a way that protects the people who are already there,” Pao said of Silicon Valley’s startup culture. “You bring in your friends to your company. It’s a very traditional way of hiring, and you need to open that up and figure out how you can get other people in and then how to make them successful in a way that’s fair.”

On one hand, the Harvard Law School graduate said women weren’t getting promoted and people of color weren’t getting hired. But there was another issue that became evident in “smaller” ways: “So it’s being asked to get the coffee. Being asked to babysit partners’ kids. Being asked to take notes, only woman being asked to take notes,” Pao said. “So it was the broader not being able to get promoted, but it was also being treated as a second-class citizen and being asked to do things that other people were not asked to do.”

“It was very much an expectation that women were willing to do that work and were the right people to do that work,” she added.

During the interview, “CBS This Morning” co-host Charlie Rose noted: “If you are a business person –…

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