Enterprise and gender equality: the difficult conciliation of working mothers This essay reviews and supports some recent literature on gender equality, on the general relationship between women and labor markets, and on the specific relationship between such markets and maternity. After considering both theories and data at the European and national levels, it presents some results of an original research on the working behavior of working mothers following maternity. The research was conducted in Forlì, a province in central-northern Italy, considering the 2000-2003 trends through quantitative data and life-histories. The emerging critical areas are: labor organization; compatibility of gendered roles; re-entering job; and solidarity and help. In conclusion, some good pratices are suggested, also on the bases of testimonies contained in the life-histories.