When people think of Italy they may imagine an idea of a laid back way of life, or the ancient cities of Rome and Naples, a land of sunshine and olive groves steeped with history and antiquities. All of this is true but Italy also has a very successful manufacturing industry and is one of the World's highest industrial exporting countries.
In the fields of engineering and technology, Italy have some of the most successful businesses in Europe. Fiat is the largest vehicle manufacturer in Italy and the Fiat group also own other companies such as Iveco, Lancia and numerous other premier companies.
Innovative technology in the engineering industry of the north make Italy a major player in the manufacture and export of industrial machinery and Italian industrial machinery, technology and design is considered to be among the best in the world.
Despite this, Italy has always been seen as having a traditionalist culture with the lines drawn between the genders very carefully defined. The traditional view of Italian women as cooks and housewives is still seen as being acceptable while the view of Italian men is that they strut their stuff wherever they please and have a strong attachment to mama.
In reality, as in many stereotypes, this is not necessarily the case. Italian women today are more likely to be independent with their own careers and the use of birth control is enabling them to delay having children and less of them. This is causing a decline in the Italian birth rate that is a concern to some people.
Italian women working in the fields of engineering and technology are still not anywhere near even a significant minority but numbers are on the increase in these professions as in the UK. In other areas of employment a trip to any major city such as Rome will show that women are working in all professions, in science , law and business.