One of Silicon Valley’s leading advocates for diversity and inclusion, Ellen K. Pao is not only a long-time entrepreneur and tech investor, but her landmark gender discrimination case against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, propelled her to the front of the fight — years before the Times Up movement. Her 2012 lawsuit helped encourage other women, people of color and especially women of color to stand-up against harassment and discrimination in tech in what has been called the “Pao Effect.”
Currently, Ellen serves as CEO and co-founder of nonprofit Project Include, where she works closely with tech leaders to bring fairness to all tech workers, using data-based, practical solutions and recommendations.
As interim CEO of reddit, she was the first leader of a large social media company to ban revenge porn and unauthorized nude photos as part of her broader efforts to curtail harassment on the site. Prior to reddit, she spent seven years as a investment partner at Kleiner Perkins. During her two decades in Silicon Valley, she has also worked as a board member, engineering manager, software programmer, and business development executive.
She began her career as an attorney in both New York and Hong Kong. Ellen received her BSE in electrical engineering and public policy certificate from Princeton University, her JD from Harvard Law School, and her MBA from Harvard Business School.
She is author of the book “Reset”, which recounts her long-time efforts in advocating diversity and inclusion in tech and her own experience with it during her trial against Kleiner Perkins. Ellen has written and spoken extensively, including in The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME magazine, Recode, and WIRED magazine.
Watch Ellen at the 2019 MAKERS Conference: