How do women in Italy feel about their lives? What do they want more of and what worries them most?

To find out, we conducted an online quantitative survey of more than 1,000 women aged 18 to 54 across Italy. Here’s what we learned:

Italian women see themselves as sensitive, inquisitive and intelligent. When asked about their self-perceptions, respondents were most likely to describe themselves as sensitive (58%), inquisitive (55%) and intelligent (49%).

They’re multitaskers who can deal with challenges. Most Italian women surveyed said they juggle multiple roles at the same time (93%) and know how to handle problematic situations (71%).

Their anxiety outweighs their happiness. Respondents were more likely to describe themselves as worried (37%) than as happy and carefree (25%). They rate psychological well-being as a “must-have” (78%) – even more so among women aged 45 to 54 (83%).

Looking attractive, juggling their roles, and feeling like a good parent are key struggles. More than 65% of Italian women surveyed said they feel insecure about their appearance (this figure rises to nearly 80% among young women). For 41%, the need to juggle multiple tasks (such as family and work) is a source of worry. And for 37%, being a good mother is a concern. When it comes to work, technical knowledge and leadership, however, they are more confident.

They want more equality and fairness than they’ve been able to achieve. Most respondents (86%) want to manage their careers and families with more ease, but only 26% feel they have achieved this balance. At home, 83% would like their partner to share household tasks but only 31% say they’ve accomplished this. And at work, 82% want to eliminate the gender pay gap but only 27% feel this gap has been bridged.

If they could wave a magic wand and have anything, perfect health would be their first choice. After health, other top wishes among Italian women would be to travel more often, have a happy and gratified family, bring in a fabulous income, and be employed in a creative and interesting job.

When they want to relax, they turn to simple pleasures like TV and chocolate. Eating chocolate while watching TV (24%) was their top choice for unwinding, followed by time with family (16%) and time with pets (14%). Younger women also mentioned shopping as a way to reduce stress.