COVID-19 has brought many long-standing equity issues connected to education and work to the forefront. Early unemployment figures showed racialized Canadians’ employment was hit harder than that of white Canadians – a trend that continued to affect Black, Indigenous and other racialized individuals as the pandemic persisted. Front-line workers navigated increasingly precarious conditions and many women left the workforce, dropping the female labour-force participation rate to its lowest level in 30 years. Career professionals and those they serve grappled with uneven access to services and technology after lockdowns shuttered offices across the country.
However, the pandemic has also brought increased recognition that – with a grounding in social justice – career development can be a powerful tool to challenge inequities and to advance the public good. Services, programs, advocacy and education can recognize and work to change the systemic barriers that prevent all individuals from having equal opportunity to seek work that is meaningful to them and meets their needs.
What resources do you draw on in your career development work to advance social justice? Share in the comments or send to email@example.com, and your resource may be included in a future article.
Building Cultural Intelligence to Promote Diversity and Inclusion: What We Need to Know to Thrive in the Workplace (CERIC & OACM) [On-demand webinar]
Presenter and career development professional Azumme Degun shares how to develop an understanding of cultural intelligence and apply it to your own work, to then be better equipped to share it with your clients. Topics in this three-part series include cultural competency, diversity and inclusion, and implicit bias and systemic racism.
You can also learn more by checking out Degun’s CareerWise blog: “To build an inclusive workplace, start with CQ – cultural intelligence.”
Looking for an opportunity to grow your knowledge on anti-racism in career development? Register for the upcoming webinar series presented by Workplace and Wellness Strategist Jodi Tingling, and hosted by CERIC and CDAA, on “Beyond Diversity: Supporting Career Practitioners to Have Inclusive Anti-Racist Practices to Empower Clients Who Are Racialized.” The three-part series starts Nov. 18.
This book examines the unique challenges that individuals from a variety of populations may face as they move their careers forward while simultaneously challenging complex barriers. Each of its 35 chapters is written or revised by someone with specialized knowledge or lived experience in the area of diversity being examined. Dedicated chapters examine supporting transgender folks in career transitions, the training of Indigenous employment counsellors, the multilingual workplace and more.
Career Development Interventions for Social Justice: Addressing Needs across the Lifespan in Educational, Community, and Employment Contexts (Eds. Margo A. Jackson, Allyson K. Regis and Kourtney Bennett) [Book]
Career development interventions can serve as one means to constructively address the problems of inequitable access to educational and occupational options and achievement that promote health and well-being across the lifespan. This book offers practical examples of career development interventions that may be adapted to constructively address social justice needs at various points across the lifespan.
In winter 2021, CERIC published an entire issue of its Careering magazine on the theme of social justice in career development. The issue includes over 20 articles, including:
- Career development as a social justice imperative (Tracey Lloyd)
- Allyship in career development: An honour, privilege and responsibility (Natasha Caverley and Kathy Offet-Gartner)
- Working with Muslim clients: Adopting multicultural and social justice counselling competencies (Walaa Taha)
- Hiring a Chief Diversity Officer isn’t enough to make workplaces safer for racialized employees (Janelle Benjamin)
- Developing trans-inclusive career resources for students (Allison Burgess and Sania Hameed)
‘Everyone has a right to a decent and dignified life that includes a meaningful career’ – An interview with David Blustein (Career Guidance for Social Justice) [Article]
Raza Abbas interviews Boston College Professor and leading vocational psychology scholar David Blustein about career guidance and social justice. “My fundamental belief and value is that social justice is integral to our field,” Blustein says.
Also from the Career Guidance for Social Justice blog:
- Delivering Social Justice; a collaborative strategic approach
- Five minutes of social justice in a busy day (a social justice card game)
This book, published by the NCDA, aims to help educators, practitioners and students to be more informed about diversity, equity, social justice and career counselling. It also explores topics related to career theories, assessment and ethics.
Social justice and career development: Progress, problems, and possibilities (Journal of Vocational Behavior) [Open-source academic article]
Drawing on scholarship in the fields of vocational and industrial/organizational (VIO) psychology, Ellen Hawley McWhirter and Ishbel McWha-Hermann propose a definition of social justice and assess progress and problems in achieving it. They suggest that much VIO social justice scholarship focuses on individuals and microsystems, and a focus on structural sources of injustice and neoliberal influences is needed.
Social justice and social mobility: Implications for careers education and guidance (Adventures in Career Development) [Presentation]
A YouTube video and PowerPoint slides from UK researcher Tristram Hooley’s presentation to the Career Development Institute in February 2021. Hooley talks about how career guidance can contribute to social mobility, goes on to discuss some of the problems with social mobility as a concept and suggests moving toward a broader idea of social justice.
The Oxford Handbook of Career Development (Eds. Peter J. Robertson, Tristram Hooley and Phil McCash) [Book]
This book explores current ideas and debates in career development from a variety of viewpoints including socio-economic, political, educational and social justice perspectives. Its chapters include “The Positioning of Social Justice: Critical Challenges for Career Development” and “The Cultural Preparedness Perspective of Career Development.”
Check out a review of the book on CareerWise.
- Career Exploration Through the Lens of Equity (Inside Higher Ed)
- Career services are a social justice issue for colleges (WorkShift)
- Group Career Coaching – A Critical Pedagogical Approach (The Journal for Specialists in Group Work)
- How career practitioners can continue to challenge oppressive systems (CareerWise)
- How employers can take the lead to welcome jobseekers with disabilities (CareerWise)
- Seeking a Career in Social and Political Change at a Time of Global Disruption (NCDA)
- Social Justice and Career Development (Career Professionals of Canada)
- Social justice and the birth of career development (CareerWise)
- The importance of a whole-person approach in Indigenous career development (Careering)
- What students want from employers to create safe, inclusive workplaces (Careering)
- World Day of Social Justice (United Nations)