Influences on Occupational Identity

A Review of Research and Programs

Developed by cultural anthropologist Mimi Ito, this research identifies barriers and funnels of influence that produce occupational identity – and oftentimes create disparate outcomes for marginalized youth. Ito also presents entry points to promote equity, like bias training and apprenticeships for young people.


In this webinar, researcher Mimi Ito shares a synthesis and review of research on programs influencing occupational identity among young people. The webinar presents a framework for understanding the funnel of influences that shape young people’s occupational identities and discusses implications for equity.

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This report synthesizes research and programs centered on youth occupational identity—their vision of their future selves in the workforce, what they like to do, what they believe they are skilled at, and where they feel they belong.