We have now arrived at “Eat,” for those fans of Elizabeth Gilbert’s travelogue of emotional discovery, “Eat, Pray, Love.” Welcome to Italy, which is, indeed, a paradise for the palate, but also a world treasure for its art, fashion, automotive design and for its massive ring of celebrities around a certain scenic northern lake. And don’t forget your history: Italy is the cradle of decadent dinner parties and their indispensible companion, indoor plumbing. It’s also a nation where colleagues want to get up in your face for all the right reasons.
We’re at stop No. 8 on our ’round-the-world video curation tour of work cultures in many nations. We invite you to join us, watch out for us on our social channels (#CultureCoordinates) and let us know what these videos get right-or don’t-about working in different countries.
Italy is modern on top, traditional on the bottom…
…time isn’t money, and meetings aren’t all business
Fast Culture Facts for Italy
- 60 million – with an uneven population density that rounds out to about 197 people per square kilometer.
- 23 million– with a labor participation rate of 65 percent—slightly higher than the USA’s. Women make up about 42 percent of the workforce, which is lower than most other industrialized nations.
- With a 2 trillion GDP, Italy is the 8th largest economy in the world and third largest in the EU. Family-owned firms make up 93 percent of all Italian companies and account for 85 percent of GDP. The services sector contributes 69 percent to the nation’s GDP, led by tourism. Industry follows at 29 percent, and agriculture accounts for 2 percent.
- Native Italians comprise 92 percent of the nation’s population, with the largest non-Italian minority group being Romanian Italians. While there is not a large minority population, there are laws against discrimination based on ethnicity, although a rising tide of asylum seekers and immigrants have stoked fears of growing intolerance. The wage gap for women is lower than most EU nations- at 5.3 percent, but women still face major professional and educational barriers in the workplace. Italy has laws banning employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, but no laws protect LGBTQ people from housing discrimination, and it’s illegal for same-sex couples to adopt children.
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