King's College London

Research portal

Understanding the unobserved influences on the careers of ethnic minority women: implications for human resource management

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Published7 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • RIJH-2019-1130.R3_Proof_hi

    RIJH_2019_1130.R3_Proof_hi.pdf, 287 KB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:08 Dec 2022

    Version:Final published version

King's Authors


If HR managers wish to influence the careers of professional staff, it is important to understand their career aspirations and what determines them. This paper reports a study of the experiences of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) women professionals that shape their careers and working lives. Qualitative data from 39 interviews identifies a distinct set of influences on their career decisions linked to the intersection of their gender and ethnic identities. In particular, it reveals how the mechanisms of fit and accommodation play a role in shaping career adjustment. The paper contributes to career theory by demonstrating the role of mesostructures in the form of career scripts in exploring the interplay between individual agency and structure. It also contributes by incorporating reference group theory and highlighting the role of reference groups in shaping and transmitting career scripts. In so doing it reveals the potential longer-term implications for careers of relational influences on career choice. The analysis highlights the need for HR managers and HR researchers to be aware of the hidden influences on the career decisions of BAME women.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454