COVID-19 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 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.
This article follows two resource compilations on social justice published on CareerWise in 2020. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 to learn more about this topic.
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.
British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, Volume 50, Issue 4 (2022)
This issue includes multiple articles with a social justice lens including “Critical perspectives on agency and social justice in transitions and career development”; “Theorising agency for socially just career guidance and counselling scholarship and practice”; “Towards intersectional and anti-racist career guidance”; and “Problem representations of employability in higher education: using design thinking and critical analysis as tools for social justice in careers education.”
Career Development for Diverse Clients: Beyond the Basics (Roberta Borgen) [Book]
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 guidance for social justice – summer school
The fourth run of the Career Guidance for Social Justice school will be hosted by Norway Inland University of Applied Sciences and will take place in August 2023 as an intense one-week program. This course will examine the way in which recent theory and research in career guidance has engaged with the issue of social justice. It will explore what this means for careers professionals in practice asking how they can challenge oppression and help to emancipate individuals and communities.
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)
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.
Careering magazine: Social Justice issue (CERIC)
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:
- Co-constructing knowledge to inform our understanding of career – a social justice approach
- Delivering Social Justice; a collaborative strategic approach
- Five minutes of social justice in a busy day (a social justice card game)
Gaining Cultural Competence in Career Counseling (Kathy M. Evans and Aubrey L. Sejuit) [Book]
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.
K-12 Career Development: An Integrative Social Justice Approach[Book] Authored by David James Bright, this book provides school counsellors-in-training with a clear and comprehensive theoretical model to help them build and maintain a K-12 career development program within schools that feature a holistic focus on applied social justice principles. This text recognizes that social justice is at the core of all school counselling work and that career development is a major focus of the school counsellor.
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.
Social justice at work: On power relations, inclusion and recognition in the career guidance practice [Lecture]
In this presentation, originally recorded for the Career Guidance and Social Justice E-School in 2020, Åsa Sundelin (Senior lecturer at Department of Education at Stockholm University) discusses the issues of social justice and power in career guidance work with migrants. Sundelin explores how the experience of career guidance and counselling with clients from migrant backgrounds can contribute to the knowledge development of the field.
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.
- Agents for change: Reimagining emancipatory career guidance practices in Scotland (Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling)
- Career Exploration Through the Lens of Equity (Inside Higher Ed)
- Career services are a social justice issue for colleges (WorkShift)
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Responsive Career Pathways (Future Skills Centre and Blueprint) [Report]
- From career guidance to designing lives acting for fair and sustainable development (International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance)
- 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)
- Implementing a Social Justice Leadership Framework in Career Counseling (The Career Development Quarterly)
- In conversation with Tristram Hooley: Cannexus, policy and social justice (CareerWise)
- Promoting access to decent work: career counselors’ experiences with career construction counseling (International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance)
- Reframing the Individual Development Plan (Inside Higher Ed)
- 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)
- Theorising agency for socially just career guidance and counselling scholarship and practice (British Journal of Guidance & Counselling)
- To build an inclusive workplace, start with CQ – cultural intelligence (CareerWise)
- What students want from employers to create safe, inclusive workplaces (Careering)
- World Day of Social Justice (United Nations)
- 5 ways to drive social justice in the workplace, starting with leadership (World Economic Forum)