This article intends to reflect on the gender employment issue, important pillar to achieve the Europe 2020 objectives. The first part of the paper presents a long term analysis, considering seven years before and after the crisis. A comparison among Italy, the EU28 average, some virtuous countries as Germany, Netherlands, Denmark and other countries as Greece, Spain and Portugal gives evidence that the crisis impact is dishomogeneous across Europe.The second part of the paper illustrates gender inequality. A growth of public and private social services may improve female employment, as demonstrated in countries like Denmark. The European Foundation for working and living conditions identified clusters of countries with specific juridical and welfare factors influencing the balance work and family and launched some recommendations to improve the female participation in the labour market.