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Thinking Out Loud

thought-leadership12Throughout February and March, a real-life courtroom drama played out in San Francisco: Ellen Pao, a former junior partner at the storied Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, had sued the firm for discrimination in May 2012, and now the case had come to trial. Pao argued that she had been denied promotion and compensation — and was ultimately fired — in essence because she was a woman, and had been the victim of a colleague’s sexual harassment.

The proceedings captured the public’s attention because they aired the dirty laundry of some of the tech world’s richest and most famous at a time when the continued underrepresentation of women in the sector has become a pressing topic. Although the jury ruled against Pao, many observers believe the high-profile nature of her case will in the long run help to disrupt Silicon Valley’s distinctive culture, which remains one of the most male-centric — at times even frat-boyish — in the U.S. One of the many fascinating aspects of the trial, as captured nicely in this Fortune article, was the frequency with which the phrase “thought leadership” cropped up. Witnesses testifying on behalf of Kleiner Perkins frequently cited Pao’s alleged inability to exhibit thought leadership as a primary reason she failed to be promoted from junior partner.

Source: Thinking Out Loud

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