Female power. Eurispes report on the power elite of women in Italy (1992)

The first mapping of power in Italy was carried out by selecting about 10,000 names from the world of politics, economics, culture and social affairs. It should be stressed that the elites identified refer to power, wealth, prestige and celebrity as a result of lawful and manifest activities: hidden elites are not included in this study. The reference year of the survey was 1990. Of the total number of individuals who make up the Italian power elite, women make up just 8%. However, the survey results are quite interesting as it succeeds in describing the female realms of power for the first time, attempting to give a portrait of them based on the places, identities, and professional fields to which famous and influential women belong.

The Institute has made use of a database that includes 9,976 powerful and famous individuals living in Italy. This shortlist of powerful and famous people was obtained through patient research and careful consultation and comparison of many sources, including the list of names of major taxpayers published by the Ministry of Finance, the Guida delle Regioni, DOC Italia, the Navicella Parlamentare, the Guida Monaci, The Who’s Who and other specialist and professional publications and guides. We also used the press and data archives, which are daily updated by our Institute and cover various fields of activity in our national life. As a result, the names identified represent not so much a generic map of power in Italy but rather a narrow elite of overt power.


Methodological notes

Sexist power and female power

Mapping female power: the provincialist pole

Non-working identities: power, fatal attraction

The first woman among elected representatives



Places (geography of female power)

Who they are. (age, education, family, leisure time)

The prestige of the older women, the celebrity of the younger ones

An exclusive world

Distinction, credit card


What they do (socio-professional field)

The powerful

The authorities

Prestigious professions and intellectuals

Celebrities: prima donnas

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