Opinion | Silicon Valley’s Thin Skins and Giant Egos

Produced by ‘Sway’

From allegations that Bill Gates had been coming on to Microsoft employees to the $22.5 million settlement of a gender discrimination suit against Pinterest, women in Silicon Valley are speaking out against what is still a male-dominated culture.

[You can listen to this episode of “Sway” on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.]

Ellen Pao was one of the first to do that. In 2012, she sued the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for gender discrimination. Back then, she says, she was met with skepticism at the very idea that the industry suffered from sexism at all. Pao ultimately lost the case, but it raised a question that hangs almost a decade later: What will it take for Silicon Valley to become less sexist?

In this conversation, Kara Swisher talks to Pao about the “thin skins” and “giant egos” of powerful people in tech, how these attributes define the work culture of Silicon Valley and why it may take a “perp walk” from a venture capitalist or a C.E.O. to see real change.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Thoughts? Email us at [email protected] Transcripts of each episode are available midday.

“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Heba Elorbany, Matt Kwong and Daphne Chen, and edited by Nayeema Raza and Paula Szuchman; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair and Ben Phelan; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Erick Gomez. Special thanks to Shannon Busta, Kristin Lin and Liriel Higa.

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