Family Forms and Fertility Patterns of Men and Women Executives in Italy

Publication type

Conference Paper


Euresco Conference


Publication date

June 20, 2003


Family forms and fertility patterns of women executives in Italy seem to be very different from the ones of their male colleagues. Evidence from recent research has shown that a) women executives get married less frequently than male executives b) their conjugal unions seem to be less stable c) most women executives are without children d) in case they choose to become mothers, women executives have mainly adopted the 'only child' model. The aim of this paper is to look inside the mostly unexplored 'black box' of the processes and social mechanisms which lead women executives to adopt such different social behaviours. We show that the reasons for this are mainly to be searched in the informal norms which rule organisations and in a cultural milieu basically 'mother' unfriendly. The empirical application is based on qualitative data (about 50 interviews) collected in Milan between 2001 and 2002.



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