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Venture Capital, Computers And The Internet

Opinion | The Elizabeth Holmes Trial Is a Wake-Up Call for Sexism in Tech

In tech, brash male founders are allowed to overpromise and underdeliver, time and again. Not so much for women.

9/20/2021 5:17:00 PM

'She should be held accountable for her actions as chief executive of Theranos. AND it can be sexist to hold her accountable for alleged serious wrongdoing and not hold an array of men accountable for reports of wrongdoing or bad judgment.' - ekp

In tech, brash male founders are allowed to overpromise and underdeliver, time and again. Not so much for women.

Sept. 15, 2021The New York Times; Photograph by Taylor Hill/Getty ImagesByEllen PaoMs. Pao is a tech investor and chief executive of Project Include, a diversity, equity and inclusion nonprofit. She is the author of “Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change,” about her lawsuit against a venture capital firm and her experience running the technology company Reddit.

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Elizabeth Holmes followed the Silicon Valley playbook to a T. She was focused and ambitious. She had a compelling vision to help humanity with technology for blood tests, and her ambition, she said, was driven by a personal fear of needles. She fit the pattern of the young, brilliant college dropout, even dressing like Steve Jobs.

When she founded the unconventional blood-testing companyTheranosin 2003, I was relieved to see a woman finallybenefit from the hyperbole that dominates venture investing, a world I worked in for nine years, total. Why shouldn’t a woman show the same single-minded confidence that her male peers did? By 2015, Ms. Holmes raised more than $400 million in financing and Theranos was valued at $9 billion. At last, I thought: a charismatic woman with a compelling vision, actually able to raise huge amounts of funding at astronomic valuations. headtopics.com

But after it was revealed that Theranos was not transparent when its blood-testing equipment failed, it became clear that the company would be the exception that proves the rule that tech chief executives rarely face the full consequences of the harm they cause.

Yet Ms. Holmes is also exceptional for the basic fact that she is a woman. Time and again, we see that the boys’ club that is the tech industry supports and protects its own — even when the costs are huge. And when the door cracks open ever so slightly to let a woman in, the same rules don’t apply. Indeed, as Ms. Holmes’s trial for fraud continues in San Jose, Calif., it’s clear that two things can be true. She

shouldbe held accountable for her actions as chief executive of Theranos. And it can be sexist to hold her accountable for alleged serious wrongdoing and not hold an array of men accountable for reports of wrongdoing or bad judgment.Questionable, unethical, even dangerous behavior has run rampant in the male-dominated world of tech start-ups. Though never charged with crimes, WeWork’s Adam Neumann and Uber’s Travis Kalanick hyped their way into raising over $10 billion for their companies, claiming they would disrupt their stagnant, tired industries.

Read more: Women 2.0 »

Elizabeth Holmes's Theranos Trial in Pictures: Inside a Courthouse Saga Elizabeth Holmes ’s family and other supporters have been attending the Theranos founder's trial to hear lawyers and witnesses lay out the case. See inside the courthouse saga. I’d like to see the photos w/o the text obscuring them. good Me every time I read “Theranos”

Elizabeth Holmes’s Trial Attire—Yes to Diaper Bags, No to TurtlenecksThe former Theranos CEO has adopted a soft new look—which diverges from her previous black-turtleneck uniform—as a defendant in her criminal trial.

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A Theranos Timeline: The Downfall of Elizabeth Holmes, a Silicon Valley SuperstarTheranos launched in 2003, and by 2014 was valued at over $9 billion. Five years later, the company had dissolved, and founder Elizabeth Holmes was criminally charged with fraud. How did it all unravel? You guys broke the story. ... 😘 ... Kaief Browder was sent to prison for stealing a backpack. This chick will likely get a slap on the damn wrist and a fine for stealing billions. Lesson here, if your going to commit crime 1) be White and 2) go BIG.

Theranos Was Losing Hundreds Of Millions As Elizabeth Holmes Talked Up Prospects To Investors, Ex-Employee SaysTheranos’ former financial controller testified the blood testing company was accumulating massive losses as Holmes was raving to investors. nice No justice if she is exonerated..it will send string message that White collar crime wins and pays

Elizabeth Olsen’s Sisters Designed Her Emmys DressElizabeth Olsen chose to make her red carpet appearance at the Emmys a family affair. Hella cool. Simple and elegant Few looks don't suit to everyone