The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - March 29

As well as earning less than their male peers, Italy's high-flying career women are also much more likely to divorce or be forced to put aside all thoughts of a family. A survey of women in managerial positions carried out by Milan's Bicocca university also confirmed statistically that these women were less likely to have children. The difficulties faced by Italian women who want a career and a family recently prompted Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi to scold the nation's men, telling them to take their share of household duties.

The new survey, commissioned by the Italian federation of managers and professionals, showed that only about half of women managed to hold down their demanding jobs and keep a marriage afloat. Men, on the other hand, did so in 80% of cases. But past surveys have indicated that this is not because they are better at juggling work and family commitments. Rather, they devote their time to work and leave everything else to their wives or partners.

Significantly, in the Bicocca university study there were more women than men who saw family commitments as an obstacle to a career. The implication was that traditional views of a women's role were still making it extremely hard for Italian women to succeed in business unless they were willing to forget marriage and families.