SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After losing a sex-discrimination lawsuit in Silicon Valley last week, Ellen Pao continues on her crusade to bring gender equality to the tech world, but this time with a focus on her home turf.
As Reddit’s interim CEO, Pao said she wants to eliminate salary negotiations from the company’s hiring process.
In her first interview since the lawsuit, Pao told with the Wall Street Journal Monday that the plan would help level the playing field.
“Men negotiate harder than women do and sometimes women get penalized when they do negotiate,” she said. “So as part of our recruiting process we don’t negotiate with candidates. We come up with an offer that we think is fair. If you want more equity, we’ll let you swap a little bit of your cash salary for equity, but we aren’t going to reward people who are better negotiators with more compensation.”
Multiple studies support Pao’s claim that women are less likely than men to successfully negotiate higher salaries and advancement in their careers.
“The research evidence is overwhelming,” Adam Grant, who has partnered with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on her Lean In campaign, told Mashable. “The data are also clear that when women negotiate assertively, they are often penalized for violating communal gender stereotypes.”
A UC Berkeley study also found that the women negotiators are often considered easier to mislead than men. As a result, women are disproportionately deceived, increasing their risk of entering into deals under false pretenses.
Last Friday, a jury decided that the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers did not discriminate or retaliate against Pao in a case that debated gender imbalance and working conditions for women in Silicon Valley.