A little over a week ago, an article was posted about Elizabeth Holmes and her detrimental effects on women entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. To summarize, Holmes was a student at Stanford University studying medical engineering; she dropped out and used her tuition funds to pursue Theranos, the birth company for a revolutionary device. A heroic idea to reduce the amount of blood needed to run tests, as well as make testing more inclusive, was just that – an idea. She lied to and tricked major companies such as Walgreens to invest millions into her dream, but the invention never made it past the testing stage. The blood-testing apparatus was said to run over 200 medical tests by a prick of blood, but these falsified reports led to the ultimate destruction of both her reputation and company.
The ramifications of her deceitful actions led to women in Silicon Valley facing a more-elevated uphill battle. Entrepreneurs in the area, to this day, are finding it difficult for inventors to take a chance on them because of the (nominal) comparisons between Holmes and themselves. One woman effectively lowered the glass ceiling for an entire subclass of individuals.
Something many people are pointing out are the biases upheld between Holmes and other brazen CEOs. While many believe that Holmes should be held accountable, they also express concern toward the lack of scrutiny connected to men who also promise more than they can deliver. Bobby Allyn dives into this contrast, including,
“[Ellen] Pao [( former interim CEO of Reddit)], meanwhile, says she is not defending Holmes. She says prosecutors should be charging her, but she wants to see a wider conversation about why other CEOs accused of wrongdoing haven't faced criminal cases.”
The federal judge who oversaw the case sentenced Holmes to eleven years and three months in prison. In January 2022, she was convicted of four counts of fraud, leading to the lengthy stay behind bars. However, new reports claim the titular woman may not have to serve all 135 months.
In late May of this year (2023), Holmes began her sentence. It would not be long after this until the thirty-nine-year-old mother of two would have her sentence reduced.
Only six weeks in, Holmes is already projected to be released early for good behavior.
Beth Mole had the following to say,
“[The] disgraced biotech entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes has apparently already behaved well enough to convince the US Bureau of Prisons that she'll likely get out early. Federal prison records now show that Holmes' projected release date is December 29, 2032. That puts her total stay at the minimum-security women's prison camp in Bryan, Texas, at just 115 months, or a little over 9.5 years… A Justice Department spokesperson confirmed to The Washington Post that Holmes' prison sentence has not changed but that a prisoner's release date ‘almost certainly’ reflects good conduct and recidivism-reduction programs that can allow prisoners to reduce their time.”
Only time will tell how Holmes’ stay in prison will unfold.
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