HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes Says Lack of Women in Tech Startups ‘Keeps Me up at Night’

Women are still underrepresented in tech and Ryan Holmes wants Canadians to do something about it.

As the chief executive officer of Vancouver-based social media firm HootSuite, Holmes is aware firsthand how males dominate North America’s tech startup space.

“For every 10 people interviewed for a tech position at our office, nine are men,” he writes in the Wall Street Journal. “We have 58 engineers and developers on our team, and only 17 are women. Figuring out why this is and what can be done about it is a question that keeps me up nights.”

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Holmes goes on to point out a number of saddening statistics, such as how only 1.3% of percent of founders at privately held, venture-backed companies are women, according to the National Science Foundation.

So what do we do? The HootSuite founder believes that it’s a matter of education—the earlier, the better.

“Truly narrowing the gender gap in the startup community comes down in large part to how we educate children,” affirms Holmes in the WSJ. “Providing better computer science education in public schools to kids, and encouraging girls to participate, is the only way to rewrite stereotypes about tech and really break open the old boys club.”

Do you think tech startups need more females involved? How do you think this problem can be addressed?