Ellen Pao, the partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers who is suing the legendary venture capital firm for alleged gender discrimination and acts of retaliation she claims to have experienced during her seven year career there, has refused to speak to the press since news of the lawsuit first broke last month. But she broke her public silence Monday in a decidedly web-savvy way: She answered a question about her case on online Q&A site Quora.
It appears that it was indeed Pao who wrote the response on Quora — she has been posting answers from the same account since mid-2010, mostly regarding venture capital and startups. When reached via email Pao declined to comment further, as she is still not speaking to the press.
In recent days, Kleiner Perkins has also spoken out publicly with their side of the case. In a message posted on the firm’s official website last week, longtime partner John Doerr wrote that while legal constraints prevent Kleiner from fully responding to the suit, the firm maintains that Pao’s claims are without merit. “We will vigorously defend our reputation and are confident we will prevail,” he wrote. He also pointed to Kleiner Perkins’ history as a pioneer of diversity and gender equality in the VC space. Kleiner Perkins just added another female partner last week, with the hiring of former Square executive Megan Quinn.