Here’s how diversity in tech is like meteorology


It has been said that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in tech is like weather: You have to check it often, and plan accordingly.

That’s the approach taken by Trey Boynton, diversity and inclusion manager at Duo Security (and former U-M educator in social justice at the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs). Her presentation at Ann Arbor’s Tech Talk 2018 relied on the metaphor of meteorology.

“We want to make sure people are able to offer their highest, unique contribution.” —Trey Boynton

It’s an evolution of practice, she said. DEI is about the long game, and we’re only just getting started. We have to study the landscape, understand who and what is around us, and strive to be good neighbors. People, like weather, are unpredictable. We do our best to plan for the forecast, but there are inevitable moments of churn.

“We want to make sure people are able to offer their highest, unique contribution. That’s the goal. In tech, we’re about innovation. We can’t do that if people aren’t able to amplify their voices, contribute meaningfully, and see themselves as part of the greater goal. That’s why we need to focus on diversity in tech.”