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“How making space for difficult conversations on identity can make way for stronger professional relationships

Gloria Dei May 29, 2021

After working for 8 years, Laurie is the first boss I have had open conversations with on the issue of identity, specifically elements of my identity. Although I found this challenging at first, and it pushed me out of my comfort zone, it has ultimately made for a better working relationship between us.

I have had difficult working relationships in the past with white females in positions of seniority. This had shaped my view of the workplace and my manager. I took this personal professional history into my relationship with Laurie, however, certain topics relating to identity surfaced this time. It didn’t happen over night – in fact it was two years before this dialogue was instigated. It has proved fruitful on both sides and something we would like to share.



Meta Themes

  • Equity & Inclusion

  • Impact Investing

  • Social Entrepreneurship

  • Stakeholder Economics & Leadership

  • Sustainable Development


Conversation; diversity of thought; mentoring; gender; equity; mental health

Purpose and Desired Outcome

Without examples, we are unable to find ways to, confront, discuss and address identity differences, in the workplace. Without examples, there's no reason to assume identity is worth discussing. The desired outcome for this session is to encourage open and honest conversations. This session will look at the development of two people who have managed to build a successful working relationship following a very honest conversation about race, trust and professionalism.


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Government

  • Artists & Culture-makers

  • Service Providers

  • Accelerators & Incubators

  • Academia

  • Asset Managers

  • Corporate & SME

  • Entrepreneurs

  • Intermediaries (Financial Advisers, Investment Bankers)


  • NameGloria Dei
  • TitleExecutive Assistant
  • OrganizationPalladium Impact Capital
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameLaurie J. Spengler
  • TitleCEO and Founder
  • OrganizationCourageous Capital Advisors, LLC
  • StatusConfirmed
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