Mary Meeker, the one-time stock analyst who joined venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2010, took the stand today in Ellen Pao’s discrimination case against the firm.
Her take? She hasn’t noticed any discrimination since she’s been there.
In her lawsuit, Pao alleges that a male-dominated culture at Kleiner Perkins, characterised by harassment and abuse, meant she missed key opportunities to move her career forward.
But where Pao felt stifled by Kleiner Perkins, Meeker’s career took off: She’s been involved in KP’s investments in Twitter, Jawbone, Spotify, and Waze, and is on Square’s board.
Asked by Kleiner Perkins’ own famously tough lawyer, Lynne Hermle, how she would describe her employment at Kleiner Perkins as a woman, Meeker offered a lengthy response in her employers’ defence, per the Re/code liveblog:
When I look at the venture capital business and look at the players in the industry, Kleiner Perkins is the best place to be a woman in the business. When you have people from all walks of life, all genders, all races, it helps people make better decisions because we have different perspectives….Two women are more powerful than one. Three are more powerful than two. Four are more powerful than three. I think the more we can see cohorts of women like that in the business, more and more people will make better decisions.
To that tune, Meeker says that she never refused to meet with Pao during their time together at the firm, even after Pao filed her suit (though being on different teams, they wouldn’t have had much opportunity). She also said that nobody else refused to meet with her to her recollection, either.
Meeker did say that the situation with Ajit Nazre, in which he harassed Trae Vassallo, another partner with the firm was “not a great situation.”
But when asked if she had ever experienced discrimination herself, she just said “I have not.”