Expert: Silicon Valley bias suit spurs closer look by firms

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A sex discrimination trial that has put a spotlight on gender imbalance in Silicon Valley has prompted some technology and venture capital companies to re-examine their cultures and practices for potential bias.

A jury is set to hear closing arguments on Tuesday in Ellen Pao's lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

During the trial, other companies contacted consultants about possible obstacles to women being hired and advancing.

The consultants say a verdict against Kleiner Perkins would likely accelerate that trend.

Jurors will have to decide whether Kleiner Perkins discriminated against Pao because she is a woman and then retaliated when she complained.

They will also have to decide how much money, if any, Pao is awarded in lost wages, bonuses and punitive damages.