Ellen Pao Case Pushed Firm to Do More on Diversity, Doerr Says

Right issue, wrong plaintiff.

That has become a mantra of sorts for Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers as the venture capital firm addresses the fallout from its courtroom brawl with former junior partner Ellen Pao.

Even though Pao lost her gender discrimination lawsuit in March in San Francisco state court, the Kleiner Perkins brand has been dinged.

“Nobody wins in this kind of experience,” John Doerr, general partner of the firm, said Tuesday at Fortune’s Brainstorm conference in Aspen, Colorado.

Kleiner Perkins has learned from the case, he said. “It also raised our desire to do more, we know we can do more and we can do better.”

Doerr again talked about the steps Kleiner Perkins said it’s taking to improve diversity: implementing unconscious bias training, issuing a diversity report, improving its pipeline and addressing retention.

While 30 percent of the firm’s partners are women, Doerr called the industry “collectively pathetic” on the issue of diversity.

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