UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Stories of success in career decision-making : listening to Indigenous women Lenny, Jessica Beth


In an era of globalization, moving and disappearing borders mean a changing world of career. In the midst of such transformation marginalized peoples’ differences are at risk of being excised in a global shift towards sameness. Indigenous people in Canada are underemployed and experience higher rates of poverty, higher risk of health concerns and lower levels of educational attainment. To date, limited research has examined the experiences of Indigenous women who have been successful in career decision-making despite this social context. This study sought to address the gap in the literature. The research question was, How do Indigenous women describe their success in career decision-making? Through the use of a qualitative narrative approach, in-depth unstructured interviews were conducted with four Indigenous women between the ages of 27 and 36, for the purpose of learning about their experiences and the significance of their career decision-making histories. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using Braun & Clark’s (2006) thematic content analysis. An overarching theme of the women Learning to have Confidence in Their Own Intuition encompassed six other themes which emerged, including: Having Healthy Relationships, Maintaining a Balanced Life Style, Participating in Education, Practicing Lived Engagement, Having Access to Financial Resources, Encountering Mentors. The research findings are presented and discussed within the context of the existing literature on career theory, Indigenous epistemology and social setting. These findings help to improve understandings of Indigenous women’s experiences of career decision-making and will hopefully help counsellors and institutions better meet the call of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (2012) which asked for conversations between Canadian government and Aboriginal people to co-create strategies to eliminate the disparity in education and employment between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International