Che genere di lavoro? Atteggiamenti e aspettative lavorative a confronto tra studentesse e studenti universitari


  • Domenico Carbone Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza Scienze Politiche Economiche e Sociali Università del Piemonte Orientale
  • Maria Grazia Monaci Dipartimento Scienze Umane e Sociali Università della Valle d'Aosta



The present work studies the professional expectations of male and female university students by focusing on gender differences and examining the impact of previous educational choices and parents’ socio-economic background. A questionnaire filled out by newly-enrolled university students (n = 1979; 1214F) included scales on desired professional fields, preferred characteristics and negative aspects of a future profession, salary expectations. Differences linked to gender stereotypes and consistent with educational choices were hypothesized; in addition, we expected a differential influence of mother/father professional prestige on sons/daughters professional expectations. Main results show that male students privilege technical and sports/military areas of interest, whereas female students favor socio-psycho-educational, humanistic-literary, health and social care areas. Girls think it is important to find a job in line with their personal interests and studies, whereas boys have a more instrumental view of their future job. Gender differences are more contained as regards negative aspects, especially effort and precarious work, while salary expectations differ widely. The father professional prestige exerts a greater influence than the mother ones, whose influence is moderate and limited to the daughters. The effects of the traditional gender roles still persist, and they continue to influence occupational expectations and contribute to limit the gap reduction between men and women in the labor market.


Keywords: professional expectations, educational choices, gender inequality, gender role.