Career development theories suggest that social-contextual experiences are influential in individuals' career interests, aspirations, and skill development and may be a source of gender and ethnic differences in certain career fields. In this mixed methods study, we examine the supportive and obstructive career-related experiences of 13 men and 13 women (modal age 25). Interviews focused primarily on the pathway toward or away from an information technology (IT) career. Thematic coding indicated that parents were mostly supportive, while experiences in school and work occasionally made individuals reconsider their career plans. Social influences often changed developmentally as participants entered full-time jobs. Gendered participation in IT was often attributed to women's perception that it is a male-oriented field.