The paper focuses on gender inequalities within the service sector, based on empirical research carried out from 2014 to 2017 in the main shopping streets of Milan and London. Qualitative methods were used: one year of observation, 50 interviews and two focus groups. Sale assistants work shifts, including Sundays and holidays, potentially 365 days per year. In particular, adult and young adult women in Italy have to deal with the demands of double presence and gender stereotypes: childcare and family care are viewed as their responsibility. Female workers in Milan, older than those in London, reported problems in balancing work/family commitments. Gender stereotypes and the difficulties experienced in reconciling work and everyday life generate stress and alienation.
Parole chiave: Retail Work, Gender, Segregation, Time, Alienation