Former Yahoo CFO on Pao trial: Most women I know, including me, face sexism at work

Sue Decker, a former Yahoo exec and Wall Street analyst, says she’s been “obsessed” with the Ellen Pao trial.

Decker’s storied career, which included being CFO during Yahoo’s heyday, has turned her into a Valley powerhouse. She currently sits on the boards of a bunch of powerful companies including Intel, Costco, and Berkshire Hathaway.

She’s been watching the trial so closely, that she attended the closing arguments in person yesterday, pulling her daughters out of school for the day to watch with her.

Why? She heard truth in Ellen Pao’s story. In a column on LinkedIn Decker wrote:

I, and most women I know, have been a party to as least some sexist or discriminatory behaviour in the workplace. Many of the examples raised in this trial are behaviours I have personally witnessed along the way. At the same time, the men who may be promulgating it are often very unaware of the slights, and did not intend the outcome. For the women, it happens in little incremental steps, that often seem so small in isolation, that any individual act seems silly to complain about. So we move on. But in aggregate, and with the perspective of hindsight, they are real.

That said, the jury didn’t see the same kind of truth. It basically sided with Pao’s former employer, Kleiner Perkins, on three out of four charges.

The last charge is still being deliberated — the charge that Kleiner fired her for complaining about harassment and filing the lawsuit. The jury had 8 votes against Pao on that charge. It needed 9.

NOW WATCH: This is what happens to your brain and body when you check your phone before bed

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at