Woman behind sex discrimination lawsuit against Silicon Valley firm takes stand

Small BusinessAssociated Press

A woman behind a sexual discrimination lawsuit against one of Silicon Valley's most prestigious venture capital firms has started testifying in the case.

Plaintiff Ellen Pao was questioned Monday by her attorney about why she wrote a memo alleging women were having difficulties at Kleiner Perkins Caufied & Byers in January 2012.

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Pao previously said she was passed over for a promotion because she is a woman and then fired later in 2012 after she complained.

Kleiner Perkins has denied wrongdoing and says Pao didn't get along with her colleagues and performed poorly as a junior partner, a position she moved into in 2010.

The case has put a spotlight on gender balance in the venture capital and technology sectors, where women are grossly underrepresented.