Sex and the Valley

Sex and the Valley

Newsflash: Silicon Valley Founders Still Overwhelmingly White and Asian Dudes

Not actually a tech job. (Photo: Getty)

In news of the complete and total bummer variety, new numbers show that founders of California tech companies are still overwhelmingly white guys. But hey, it’s not a total monoculture: Asian men fare well in Silicon Valley, too.

The stats come courtesy of Catherine Bracy, who spoke yesterday at the Personal Democracy tech conference. She moved to San Francisco to run Team Obama’s technology field office in 2012, Mother Jones reports. When she arrived, she was struck by the “jarring inequality visible everywhere in Silicon Valley — between rich and poor, between men and women, between white people and, well, everyone else.” Read More

Sex and the Valley

Marc Andreessen Helps Us Understand Why Silicon Valley Investors Flock to ‘Cougar Night’ at the Rosewood

(Photo: Charlie Rose)

The Rosewood Hotel on Sand Hill Road, conveniently nestled near almost every important VC firm in the Valley, has long been a hotspot for wealthy VCs to meet potential mates. This is due in part to love concierge Amy Andersen, founder of the super stealth matchmaking company Linx Dating. She helped cultivate an unofficial “Cougar Night” at the hotel after setting up a meet-and-greet there for her wealthy clients in 2009. Read More

Sex and the Valley

Judge Rules that Kleiner Perkins May Again Ask for Arbitration at a July 20th Hearing

Ms. Pao (Photo: Kleiner Perkins)

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn kept his word today and ruled against Kleiner Perkins’ motion for arbitration in Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination suit.

However, he did rule that the storied VC firm may ask again for arbitration at an upcoming hearing scheduled for July 20th, meaning that the case could still be arbitrated by a third party.

A Kleiner Perkins spokesperson sent the following statement to Betabeat: Read More

Sex and the Valley

Master Hedge Fund of Buddy Fletcher, Ellen Pao’s Husband, Files for Bankruptcy

(Photo: KPCB)

The gender discrimination suit filed by Kleiner Perkins partner Ellen Pao against her employer has hit a potential snag. The hedge fund run by Ms. Pao’s husband, Alphonse “Buddy” Fletcher, has filed for bankruptcy, according to Dan Primack at Fortune.

Mr. Primack points out that while the bankruptcy and the suit could easily be unrelated, the possibility of family financial disaster could provide a motive for Ms. Pao seeking damages against the company. Read More

Sex and the Valley

Mysteries of Kleiner Perkins: No One Wants to Say How Much Ellen Pao and Other Partners Make

Ms. Pao and KP peers.

Compensation is central to the discrimination case filed against Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byer by junior partner Ellen Pao, which alleges among other things that women are paid less than men. So far, no details about compensation have been made public either by the plaintiff or the defendant, and Kleiner Perkins would like to keep it that way.  Read More

Sex and the Valley

Ellen Pao: I’m Not Quitting Kleiner Perkins

Ms. Pao (

Ellen Pao has broken her silence to issue a short statement regarding her position at Kleiner Perkins, the firm she is suing for gender discrimination–on Quora, of all places. (Quora: a publicist’s nightmare?)

On a question asking if she had left the firm following her lawsuit, Ms. Pao wrote the following simple yet powerful statement: “No, and I don’t plan to quit.” The answer received over 250 upvotes, primarily from bloggers and techies, as well as 13 comments. Of note is one comment from 500 Startups cofounder and prominent VC Dave McClure, who responded with a strong gesture of support. “Hang in there ellen :),” he wrote, and 24 people upvoted it. Read More

Sex and the Valley

Randy Komisar on the State of Women in Venture Capital

Mr. Komisar.

Sexism in the venture capital industry is insidious, systemic and subtle. Randy Komisar, a partner at Kleiner Perkins, said as much in a July 2010 interview posted on YouTube:

There are not enough women in venture capital today. Venture capital tends to be clubby in the sense that you tend to have confidence and trust and perhaps better communication with people that you feel more like than people you feel less like. And that applies across gender as well. Read More

Sex and the Valley

The Depressing Gender Gap at the Nation’s Top 71 Venture Capital Firms [SLIDESHOW]

72 Photos

women and men

Click through the slideshow for a firm-by-firm breakdown of the numbers.

The tech industry was shocked, shocked, when news broke last week that Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers had been accused of discriminating against women in a lawsuit filed by a female partner.

It wasn’t just that a woman was accusing one of the most influential venture capital firms in Silicon Valley of sexism. It was that a woman was accusing Kleiner Perkins of sexism.

Kleiner Perkins, a Sand Hill Road firm that has more than $3 billion in assets under management, has 12 female partners out of 49. That’s a much higher percentage than the industry’s abysmal average, giving the firm a reputation for being progressive. “Overall, when it comes to women in the tech investing space, Kleiner Perkins has historically been perceived as one of the good guys,” wrote Colleen Taylor at TechCrunch.

And yet, the lawsuit filed by investment partner Ellen Pao alleges that, among other things: men were promoted before women; men were allowed to serve on multiple boards, while women were only allowed to serve on one board; men were paid more than women; and there was little support for women who experienced sexual harassment. Kleiner Perkins denied any wrongdoing.

The number of women in top positions is just one metric by which to judge whether a firm is a welcoming place for women to work. Still, it’s a telling one, as a Betabeat survey of the top venture capital firms revealed. Read More

Sex and the Valley

Here Is the Complaint Ellen Pao Filed in California Before She Sued Kleiner Perkins for Sexism

Ms. Pao.

In her gender discrimination lawsuit against managers at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, junior partner Ellen Pao didn’t seem to be holding back. But a complaint she filed with the state of California first includes some accusations that never made it into the lawsuit.

Betabeat obtained a copy of the complaint, which Ms. Pao filed with the California Dept. of Fair Employment and Housing a month before her discrimination lawsuit was filed. The complaint requested an immediate right-to-sue, a standard procedure in California in which the department accepts complaints but does not investigate them. The department granted Ms. Pao the automatic right to take the issue to court.

In the complaint, Ms. Pao says she believes managers at Kleiner Perkins had complained about her to others outside the firm “by among other things making unjustified critical comments about me to others in positions to affect my access to new employment and business opportunities.” Read More