Reddit CEO Ellen Pao might have lost her gender discrimination lawsuit against venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers but the trial and ensuing media coverage has spawned a necessary discussion on gender bias not just in tech but in workplaces all across the world. Pao spoke with TheWall Street Journal on just that as well as her role at Reddit and the company's overall hiring practices. What Pao said about her trial and its impact is especially important in terms of how such a dialogue on bias began:
Sadly, gender bias is not just a tech-related issue nor is it always easily recognizable given its prevalence on a systemic level. Now that Pao has spoken out about such inequality, many people have reached out to her to say thank you for opening their eyes, so to speak.
Pao hopes the next step is in finding solutions to overt bias as well as in less explicit scenarios. It is within that more gray area that she believes the next steps in combating gender bias are formed:
Pao says that speaking out is one of the most important things you can do rather than quietly acknowledging or questioning potentially biased actions. Only by bringing such issues to the forefront can companies and individuals truly grow. Both men and women play an important role in fighting gender bias, of course:
Unfortunately, gender bias is so deeply entrenched that it might be difficult for women to not only speak out but also to advocate for themselves. Pao likens this to threading a needle without a hole with which to place the string, a seemingly impossible task:
Before circling back to Reddit's HR culture as well as doing a potential AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the site, Pao highlights the explicit overtones of gender bias in the online world versus the offline:
Pao finished her talk with WSJ by jumping on the idea to do an AMA, so we might soon see even more fantastic quotes from a woman at the top of the tech world and at the forefront of workplace equality in Silicon Valley.