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.