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Ellen Pao        

Co-Founder & CEO of Project Include, Diversity & Inclusion Advocate, Former Interim CEO of Reddit

Ellen Pao is a technology investor and activist, the former CEO of Reddit, and the co-founder and CEO of the award-winning diversity and inclusion nonprofit, Project Include. A long-time entrepreneur, she is the former Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Kapor Center and a former venture capitalist for Kleiner Perkins and Kapor Capital.

With over two decades in the tech industry, Pao is a frequent advisor to tech leaders and keynote speaker at women’s and tech conferences. She draws from her own gender discrimination suit to offer practical and effective solutions to promote diversity and inclusion.

Her memoir, "Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change," following Pao’s workplace discrimination suit against a powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm, was shortlisted for the Financial Times and Mckinsey Business Book Of The Year. For the toxic culture and homogeneity she exposed, Pao was hailed as “the face of change” by TIME. Named Best Fall Book by both Elle and Bustle, Reset “has blown open a conversation about the status of women,” according to the New York Times.

Pao joined Reddit in 2013 as the head of business development and strategic partnerships, running its mobile, growth, and business development efforts. She went on to become the interim CEO, where she made notable changes to the site and company structure to address harassment and protect privacy. Pao was the first head of a major social media platform to ban revenge porn, unauthorized nude photos, and harassment. Following her departure from Reddit in 2015, Pao went on to found "Project Include" with seven other women from the tech industry. Aimed primarily at startups, Project Include uses data and advocacy to accelerate diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.

Before moving into tech, Pao practiced corporate law in New York and Hong Kong for Cravath, Swaine & Moore. She received an MBA from Harvard Business School, a JD from Harvard Law School, and a BSE in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University, where she also received a certificate in public policy. She is an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow. Her writing has appeared in WIRED, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, Lenny, and Recode.

Speech Topics


In 2015, Ellen K. Pao sued a powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm for workplace discrimination. Her suit rocked the tech world—and exposed its toxic culture and homogeneity. Although Pao lost her suit, she revolutionized the conversation at tech offices, in the media, and around the world.

In this speech, Pao tells her full story, from growing up the daughter of immigrants and earning multiple Ivy League degrees to working at top startups and rising in the ranks — only to be excluded from decisive meetings, uninvited from networking events, and undercut by male executives.

As Pao spotlights the troubling issues plaguing today’s workplaces, she shares her own efforts to find solutions, such as her progressive actions at reddit to change the status quo for the company, banning revenge porn and unauthorized nude photos and shutting down harassing subreddits.


According to Ellen Pao, the benefits of true diversity include better teams, better innovation, increased financial returns, improved companies, and inevitably, a better world.

As CEO of the diversity non-profit, Project Include, Pao’s mission is to give everyone a fair chance to succeed. Using a holistic approach informed by data, Pao brings audiences a breakdown of the most effective ways to accelerate diversity and inclusion solutions in the tech industry. From inclusion to comprehensiveness and accountability, Pao will outline practical, inspiring, and achievable goals for a better future.


A Year After the Ellen Pao Verdict, Tech Still Gets Diversity Wrong
JUST OVER A year ago, I was peering through a window into a San Francisco courtroom, waiting to be allowed inside. I’d been covering the Ellen Pao sex bias trial for five weeks, filing from the courtroom daily. Now the trial was over, and the world was awaiting the verdict. My thoughts on what I felt the outcome should be remained muddled, but time didn’t wait for me. By mid-afternoon, the verdict was out.
Ellen Pao Disrupts How Silicon Valley Does Business - The New ...
Now, in Ellen Pao, the Valley has found its newest disrupter. And the conventional order she has shaken up concerns the Valley itself and the clubby way of ...
Ellen Pao Ends Legal Battle, Citing Personal Resources - The New ...
Ellen Pao, a tech industry executive who brought an unsuccessful discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins ...
Ellen Pao Steps Down as CEO After Reddit Revolt | WIRED
Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao resigned today after facing an all-out revolt on the site in the wake of the firing of a popular employee.
Exclusive: Ellen Pao opens up after losing high-profile gender ...
As details of Ellen Pao's gender-discrimination case against the prominent venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers came to light, the industry and the ...

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