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

by Rob Lewis | Startups

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."

RELATED: Why Women Founders Matter

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 a 2012 Dow Jones study, and how women comprise fewer than 30% of US computer science and engineering programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, 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?

Hootsuite Media, Inc.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Hootsuite is the world’s most widely used social media relationship platform. More than 10 million users, including 744 of the Fortune 1000 companies, trust Hootsuite to manage their social media programs across multiple social networks from one integrated dashboard. Learn more about how Hootsuite is revolutionizing communication at http://www.hootsuite.com. more

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Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor-in-Chief of Techvibes.com.  His diverse background includes stints in International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. When not running Canada's leading technology media property, Rob can be... more

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