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date: 28 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The benefits of career development may accrue throughout one’s work life, from early career and vocational choice through to retirement. Yet are those benefits, and even career development itself, equally available to workers across various dimensions of demographic diversity—especially as we consider the informal and insidious nature of many career development options? This chapter explores the intersection of career development and workplace diversity. Specifically, we look at this intersection by asking (1) How can career development be an opportunity to promote diversity in organizations? and (2) How do career development disparities have a negative impact on the careers of marginalized workers and subsequently their employers? Special attention is paid to the subtle biases, ambient cues, and distancing behavior that may derail career development strategies, such as mentoring and networks for marginalized groups. We examine science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers as an important and timely career path and case study in which to consider these issues.

Keywords: careers, STEM, mentoring, networks, bias

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