Published January 2023
The role of luck in success has a relatively minor, albeit consistent history in academic discourse, with a striking lack of literature engaging with notions of luck within occupational environments. Elucidating why people attribute their own success to luck over ability has predominated in the literature, with interpersonal attributions receiving less attention. Here, we center on systematically summarizing the evidence on interpersonal attributions of success as a function of ability or luck, with a particular focus on whether these differs by gender and race. The perception of the success of others from different sociodemographic groups, and how it is attributed, is a crucial leverage point for inclusion and diversity. Particularly as women and ethnic groups continue to be systematically disadvantaged in the workforce. Ignoring the role of luck conceals and augments privilege, even if not deliberately or consciously invoked.
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