“Inclusion@Climate: Sowing the Seeds of Belonging” is a feature created by The Climate Corporation’s Inclusion & Diversity team to highlight the diverse backgrounds of our employees as well as their achievements, passions, and personalities. We hope you’ll enjoy learning more about their contributions to Climate and to our community, and think you’ll agree that the very best elements of our culture are our Climateers themselves.
Our fourth conversation is with Nikki Davis, Senior Director of our Science Enabling Team and Chief of Staff in our Science division.
The Climate Corporation: How does being an attorney impact the way you approach your current role?
Nikki Davis: In every question there tends to be a legal aspect, but the legal answer and the best answer may not always be the same. For instance, though there may be grounds to pursue litigation it may not be in the best interest of the organization to do so. To determine the right answer you must understand the end objective. That requires aligning the options with short-term and long-term strategic goals, understanding the financial impact, employee consideration, and of course legal guidance. I enjoy the fact-gathering and analysis of these factors to be able to recommend the best solution to the problem at hand.
My role at Climate allows me to experience truly global diversity and perspectives from around the world, including this opportunity to attend the 2019 AgriShow trade show in Brazil prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Climate: What has influenced your current stance on diversity? In particular, why is working within an inclusive environment and working toward an inclusive atmosphere a value for you?
Nikki: Throughout my academic and professional career it is not uncommon for me to be the only woman or person of color in the room. That is unfortunate on so many levels. Many studies have shown when diversity is represented in the room a better business outcome is achieved. On a personal level, when in that situation you also have to work through any feelings of isolation that may come from being the “only one.” By creating an inclusive environment, we gain the breadth of experiences and views that lead to the outcomes that allow us to better move the needle on our mission of delivering digital tools that aid farmers in sustainably increasing farm productivity.
Climate: What’s the element of your identity that you’re most proud of - how do you bring it to work?
Nikki: Around the world, 2020 was a year where human strength and resilience were tested like most could never imagine. Often it isn’t until something happens on a large scale that reminds you of what you can withstand. The workplace is no different.
There are times when I have wondered how life would be different if I didn’t have to leverage the extra energy it takes to be a member of an underrepresented minority. But I know it is a part of me and that without it, I wouldn’t be me. It’s that strength and resilience that I try to bring to everything I do.
I am motivated by the knowledge that as a woman of color in the tech and ag communities, both of which tend to struggle with diversity, that if I show up well, it makes it easier for the next woman of color to be able to step into the industries. I benefit from the many others that have come before me and wish to continue to enhance the opportunities for others so that all may benefit. We all owe it to pay it forward when we can.