'Things will not change' after sex bias verdict without push

ellen pao after verdict

The sex bias court case that rocked Silicon Valley for five weeks came to a close on Friday -- but many are hoping the spotlight on gender discrimination won't fade anytime soon.

Ellen Pao lost her sex bias suit against prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers on Friday when a San Francisco jury ruled that the firm did not discriminate against her.

Pao, a former junior partner at Kleiner Perkins, sued the firm in 2012, claiming she was passed over for promotions and eventually terminated because she was a woman, and because she had complained about discrimination.

Following the official verdict, Pao took to Twitter to say, "Thank you, world," the first in a series of tweets.

"Because of social media and live reports, the problem of gender discrimination in venture capital has received attention around the globe," read one tweet, followed by: "If we do not share our stories and shine a light on inequities, things will not change."

ellen pao tweet

Others took to the social media platform to echo her sentiment that the battle may have been lost, but hopefully the fight for equity in Silicon Valley is just beginning.

"I hope our industry can keep making progress," tweeted Alexis Ohanian, who is the executive chairman and co-founder of Reddit, the firm where Pao now serves as interim CEO. (He followed with another tweet, welcoming Pao back "full-time" to Reddit after five weeks of trial.)

Chris Sacca, an angel investor who has backed big-name startups including Twitter, Uber and Instagram, tweeted: "Verdict aside, we have a deep gender discrimination problem in tech. Thx to @ekp for reminding us. Let's not let the conversation end here."

On Friday, the hashtag #thankyouellenpao gained momentum, and tweets using the hashtag are continuing to roll in. But what started as praise for Pao's efforts is now flooded with hate tweets.

Interspersed with tweets like "THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING #ThankYouEllenPao" are tweets like "#ThankYouEllenPao, you failed in business, court, life, but you have a hashtag now so..."

A tweet from Tracy Chou, a software engineer at Pinterest, illustrated the need for more awareness of gender issues in Silicon Valley.

"White male in tech: I care about women in tech. me: so what do you think about #ellenpao. white male in tech: who?" tweeted Chou, who is based in San Francisco. This was a real conversation she had on Friday.

"I was pretty taken aback," she told CNNMoney.

Prior to the verdict coming down, Sarah Kunst, partner at Fortis Partners, encouraged the conversation around women in tech to continue.

"Hey reporters frantically seeking women in tech + vc for #ellenpao comment? Keep getting comments from us about tech issues post verdict," she tweeted.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said that a judge had found Kleiner Perkins not liable. It was a jury's decision.

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