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When the daughter of Chinese immigrants and the son of a middle-class black family achieve great success, they are held up as proof that the American dream works for everyone.
Her boss at BEA, Adam Bosworth, encouraged her to take the job.
In the spring of 2005 Ellen Pao applied for a job at Kleiner Perkins.
John Doerr, the firm’s famed leader, sought a technical chief of staff who met precise job specifications: an engineering degree from a prestigious university, degrees in law and business, and a background in enterprise software. The middle child of three girls, Pao grew up in suburban New Jersey.
Despite her pedigree and accomplishments, Pao achieved no notoriety at all until her explosive allegations came to light.
Their story picks at the societal scabs of sexism and racism that many like to think healed long ago.