Original Research

Race and gender in the evolution of career decision-making: A psycho-anthropological review

Indira Pillay
African Journal of Career Development | Vol 4, No 1 | a53 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajcd.v4i1.53 | © 2022 Indira Pillay | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 December 2021 | Published: 21 April 2022

About the author(s)

Indira Pillay, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Background: On 12 July 2021, riots broke out in the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces of South Africa. Regardless of the various political theories, the issue surrounding these riots had the theme of inequality and poverty below the surface. The reality is that many people live in poverty, have no jobs and are desperate. It is, therefore, necessary for us to look at the issue of work and career development in a way that addresses the deepening poverty crisis in South Africa. Specifically, it may be helpful to consider how the evolution of career development led to the deep-seated inequality that we see today, with race and gender being key considerations.

Objectives: In this article, the author draws primarily from the existing literature to explore how evolutionary developments and globalisation influenced career decision-making and the roles that social forces and agents of power have played, especially in the context of race and gender.

Method: The author conducted a brief literature review. Issues relating to the social, political and systemic influences in the evolution of career development and decision-making were incorporated into this review, with special focus on race and gender.

Results: As the historic literature was analysed, the role of social factors such as race and gender on the evolutionary path of career development came to the fore. Colonisation, apartheid, race and gender discrimination were dominant.

Conclusion: Race and gender issues played significant roles in hindering career-development, with especially destructive consequences. As we proceed further into the 21st century, focus needs to be on advancing career-development initiatives for marginalised groups.


career; career development; evolution; gender; race


Total abstract views: 2432
Total article views: 2902

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.