• Reed Smith LLP (map)
  • 1510 Page Mill Road, Suite 110
  • Palo Alto, CA 94304
  • USA



Discussion regarding the reality of gender equality in technology & venture capital in Silicon Valley.



Therese Lawless, Esq

Therese Lawless represented Ellen Pao, who sued Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for gender discrimination and retaliation.

Therese Lawless is a partner in the law firm of Lawless & Lawless where she practices employment law on behalf of employees.  Ms. Lawless is a former president of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association. She is a member and past board member of the Consumer Attorneys of California and is a member of the National Employment Lawyers' Association and the California Employment Lawyers' Association.

Ms. Lawless has practiced employment law exclusively on behalf of employees since 1988. She has litigated hundreds of employment and civil rights cases and has achieved substantial verdicts and settlements on behalf of her clients. Ms. Lawless frequently lectures and speaks on employment law matters and has written numerous articles for professional publications.

Ms. Lawless earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 1982. In 1986, she graduated Order of the Coif from George Washington University where she was an editor on the law review. Ms. Lawless clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson from 1986 to 1987. She then briefly worked for a large Boston law firm, Gaston& Snow, before deciding to join her partner and sister, Barbara Lawless, in San Francisco.

In 2000, Ms. Lawless was awarded the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers' Association. She was a top ten finalist for the California Consumer Attorney of the Year Award in 2002.

Ms. Lawless has been repeatedly named one of the top plaintiff employment lawyers in San Francisco by The Recorder legal newspaper.  She has been named a Northern California Super Lawyer annually since 2004 and Ms. Lawless has been named one of the top 50 Northern California female attorneys on several occasions, most recently in 2015.  In 2007, The American Association of Justice (AAJ) awarded Lawless & Lawless the Distinguished Law Firm Award.  Lawless & Lawless has been named one of the top ten plaintiff employment law firms in San Francisco.


Anne Lidgard (VINNOVA & Nordic Innovation House)

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Anne is the Director of VINNOVA's Silicon Valley Office, which is a partner in the Nordic Innovation House in Palo Alto.  Nordic Innovation House is a co-working and virtual office for Nordic tech companies, investors and local advisors. It is a soft landing concept for entrepreneurs entering the U.S. market enabling them to tap into our community of technology partners, investors and service providers. Vinnova is Sweden's innovation agency and the Silicon Valley office is a means for VINNOVA to better connect the Swedish Innovation System and the innovation ecosystem of Silicon Valley.

Anne holds a PhD in Physics from KTH Royal Institute of Technology.  She has a multi-faceted background in the private sector, both from larger and smaller businesses, from established companies and from startups, in operations and as board member, in R&D and in Sales, as entrepreneur and as advisor to other entrepreneurs. The common denominator has been tech in various forms: Light wave communication, Mobile, Devices, etc.



Ari Horie (Founder & CEO of Women's Startup Lab)


Ari Horie is the founder and CEO of Women’s Startup Lab, a non-traditional accelerator in the hub of Silicon Valley with a mission of empowering female led startups to succeed through strong leadership, an influential network, and innovation. Fueled by the Japanese idea of Hito, acknowledging and coming together to promote success from help provided by all, the value offered by WSLab is resonating within the startup ecosystem and the global business community.

Ari’s passion for increasing women’s contribution to the growth of business, economic and entrepreneurial success has led her to be named one of Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “Women of Influence in Silicon Valley” in 2015, one of CNN’s 10 Visionary Women of 2014, and “40 over 40” Women to Watch in 2015.  WSLab and Ari have been featured in Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Silicon Valley Business Journal, Fast Company, Marie Claire “20 women Changing the Ratio”, and Success Magazine.




Kaliya "Identity Woman" Young (Founder of "She's Geeky")

Kaliya is an independent advocate for the rights and dignity of our digital selves widely known as Identity Woman (its also the name of her blog and twitter handle). She has worked with the World Economic Forum ReThinking Personal Data Project, served on the Management Council of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, Identity Ecosystem Steering Group and the ID Trust Member Steering Committee of OASIS.

In 2005 she co-founded the Internet Identity Workshop (with Doc Searls and Phil Windley), five years later she founded the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium to catalyze a network of companies working to give individuals the tools to collect, manage and gain value from their own personal data generated actively and passively as they interact with all kinds of digital systems.

She owns a firm, Unconference.net that specializes  in designing and facilitating unconferences for a variety of technical communities world wide. In 2007 she founded the well known ‘She’s Geeky‘ women’s technology Unconference for women in STEM.  She’s Geeky provides a safe, friendly place for women to “geek out” and talk about their jobs, their STEM passion, their lives and their hobbies in a supportive, non-competitive environment. 2016 conference 1/29 & 1/30 at the Computer History Museum (20% discount for Silicon Vikings using code VIKING)




Charlotte Danielsson, Esq (Silicon Vikings Executive Director)

Charlotte is the Executive Director of Silicon Vikings and has been active in leadership roles in the Nordic community since 2009.  She has a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School and a BA in Political Science & Economics from Berkeley.  Charlotte has been representing technology companies since 1998, with a special emphasis on foreign companies entering the US market.