··Awarded the Descartes Prize 2004 of the European Commission·· How do gender inequalities translate at the top of politics and business? Is the gender gap eliminated for the most influential players in industrial democratic society? This informed and compelling analysis examines the demographic characteristics, family circumstances and career paths of a group of elite women. The book is noteworthy for being one of the first empirically based studies of women elites. Drawing on a sample from no less than 27 countries, a convincing and highly original picture is constructed that informs readers of career paths, values, social networks and gender battles for women elites. Co-ordinated by Mino Vianello and Gwen Moore, the research fills in a huge gap about how power actually operates in industrial-democratic societies. It enables us to test the view that substantial equality between the sexes has been achieved in the twenty first century. It constitutes a landmark work, both in the study of gender difference and the analysis of power. The findings will be of interest to academics and advanced students in a wide range of disciplines including stratification, globalization, political science, international relations, gender, sociology, organizational studies and much more.



Main Findings


Women elites, di Stefano and Pinnelli find in their article, are in a different situation in respect to men as far as family is concerned. In fact, their partners are men often superior to them in educational and occupational rank, while the opposite is true in the families of male leaders.

Furthermore, they do not escape the burden of the double workload: housework and childcare are not usually shared, and this is probably one of the reasons why women elites' family life appears to be more discontinuous than that of men. In fact, they are less likely than men to form a union or have children (although one may suspect that some women prefer not to follow the traditional family patterns), often remain single ...

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