News that one of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ female partners sued the firm for gender discrimination has tarnished the image of the storied firm, according to a peHUB poll.
Our poll asked, “How has your opinion of Kleiner Perkins changed since one of its partners sued for gender discrimination?”
Of the 403 people who took the poll, 279 people (or 69%) said they now have a more negative view of the firm. (See chart below.) The largest group, 156 people (or 39%), said its perception of Kleiner Perkins was “much more negative,” while 123 people (or 30%) said they had a “slightly more negative” view of the firm.
Less than one-third of respondents, 124 people, said their opinion of Kleiner Perkins had not changed.
Kleiner Partner Ellen Pao filed suit against the firm on May 10, alleging that some of Kleiner’s male partners discriminated against her because she is a woman and then retaliated against her when she complained about how she was treated. (The complete text of the suit is here.)
Pao, who joined KP as Partner John Doerr’s chief of staff in 2005, is still employed by the firm. Her attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
Doerr, the firm’s most prominent partner, issued a public statement last week, denying the suit’s allegations and touting his firm’s “pioneering track record in diversity.”
“We have taken great care to treat this situation seriously, swiftly, and with integrity,” Doerr wrote in a letter posted on the firm’s website. “We hired an expert, independent investigator to conduct a thorough inquiry. The investigator’s report concluded that the allegations are without merit and that our firm does not discriminate on the basis of gender.”
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