Career Development in Women

Career development in women follows a different pattern compared to that of men. According to the laid down customs, women play a huge role in homemaking. As such, they need to balance between developing their careers and homemaking. Due to the many home-related responsibilities, women undergo different stages while trying to balance their careers and homemaking. They may even end up dropping one of the two responsibilities so as to pursue the one that they have prioritized. Therefore, it is important to understand the life stages of women career development as explained in Super’s theory.

Based on the seven stages of career development, women follow different patterns while trying to balance between career development and homemaking. For example, pattern 1 shows that some women finish their careers and marry immediately before gaining work experience. In most cases, such women end up as housewives while their husbands act as the key providers of the family. The reason for doing this is to maintain their marriages which could have otherwise broken if they worked and performed household duties at the same time (Sharf, 2013). Secondly, pattern 5 shows that some women go through the interrupted career pattern whereby they start by developing their careers after finishing school, they ten get married and stop pursuing their careers until their children grow to take care of themselves. In this regard, women value the importance of both their careers and families and so they secure enough time for each of them.

Although there are seven patterns of career development according to Super’s theory, the two patterns explained above show how women try to balance their careers and homemaking. Some women value one of the two priorities while others choose one so that they can pursue. However, current research shows that women have started realizing the importance of career development and so they try to balance between it and homemaking.


Sharf, R. (2013). Applying career development theory to counseling (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole