The book


“Doppio Standard. Donne e Carriere Scientifiche nell’Italia contemporanea” is the book written by Camilla Gaiaschi, Marie Curie research fellow at the University of Lausanne. Based on eight years of quantitative and qualitative research in the field of gender inequalities in science and research, the text aims at providing a comprehensive picture of how the female disadvantage works and what are the systematic reasons for, by shedding light on the specificities of the Italian case.

In the first part, comparative European data are analyzed to see cross-country differences while bringing attention to the many “gender paradoxes” which make unexpected contexts performing better than others in terms, for example, of women’s presence in the STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) sector. Together with international data, the international literature is systematized by distinguishing the micro, meso and macro factors at the base of gender inequalities both in the labor market and in scientific occupations more specifically.

The second part is focused on four case studies conducted in Italy in the field of academia, in the life-sciences, in medical and surgical careers. The specificities of the Italian labor market – with its poor non academic outcomes for PhDs and its extremely low fertility rate, especially in high-skilled professions – make the country an interesting case in order to study the trade-off between welfare and gender equality.

Many people say that gender parity is only a matter of time. Is this the case? Data suggests a more complex picture, pointing out to the persistence of women’s disadvantage in science and research, its non-linear trajectory, its backlashes and turning points.

Press reviews and interviews (selection)

09/03/2023 – Elle
20/02/2023 – Parole di Management
11/02/2023 – La Repubblica
04/02/2023 – Il Manifesto
01/02/2023 – About Pharma
19/12/2022 – Corriere della Sera – 27Ora

Book’s presentations


  • University of Florence, Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche e Sociali, Florence, 16/11/2023.
  • University of Turin, Dipartimento di Culture, Politica e Società, Turin, Italy, 26/05/2023.
  • University of Trento, Dipartimento di Sociologia Dipartimento di Sociologia e Ricerca Sociale, Centro di Studi Interdisciplinari di Genere, Trento, Italy, online seminar, 11/05/2023.
  • La Sapienza University of Rome, Dipartimento di Scienze Statistiche, MinervaLab – Laboratory on Diversity and Gender Inequality, online seminar, 23/03/2023.
  • University of Milan, Dipartimenti DEFENS & DISAA, Milan, Italy, online seminar, 14/12/2022.


  • Book City – Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, Milano – 19/11/2023, with Ilaria Solari.
  • Biblioteca Goffredo Mameli, Roma – 01/04/2023 with Edwige Pezzulli, Teresa Numerico, Maria Cristina Sciannanblo.
  • Librosteria, Milano – 28/02/2023 with Ilaria Solari and Tullia Sbarrato.
  • Casa delle Donne, Milano – 22/12/2022 with Grazia Longoni and Marina Cosi.