More than twenty-five years ago, Anita Hill made history when she galvanized the nation's attention during her testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee about then-nominee for the US Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas. He had been her boss and her testimony ignited a national conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace.
Nearly a quarter century later, Ellen Pao initiated a high-profile case against one of the most prominent venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, calling attention to the issues of gender discrimination and bias in the tech industry. Both women have become national icons. Current headlines raise questions about just how much progress has been made.
Hill and Pao, two women who became symbols of a movement, will candidly discuss workplace bias and harassment spanning over decades to current-day conversations. The evening’s conversation will be moderated by Peabody Award winning broadcast journalist, Michele Norris.
Anita Hill started her career in Washington, D.C., where she worked in private practice as well as at the Education Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1989, Hill, specializing in commercial law, was the first African American tenured at the University of Oklahoma, College of Law. Currently, she teaches courses on gender, race, policy and law at Brandeis University and serves as counsel to the Civil Rights & Employment practice at the law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll PLLC. Professor Hill has received numerous honorary degrees and award and serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations. She has authored a variety of publications, offered television and radio commentary, and presented to hundreds of audiences around the globe.
Ellen Pao is the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of the Kapor Center and a Venture Partner of Kapor Capital. Ellen Pao is a long-time entrepreneur and angel investor, and a more recent activist. She was the interim CEO at reddit, where she notably implemented changes to the site and company to address harassment, including banning revenge porn, unauthorized nude photos, and several harassing subreddits. She was an investing partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Ellen has written and spoken extensively about diversity and inclusion in tech, and is one of the co-founders of Project Include, an Oakland non-profit providing practical, effective diversity and inclusion recommendations for tech startups.
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