This contribution considers the effects of specific characteristics of the individual, the family and the labour market on women's working trajectories. The main career patterns are traced for 3131 women surveyed by Longitudinal Survey of Italian Families (ILFI). Life history data allow the deployment of sequence analysis, which yields a significant classification of female participation to the labour market, accounting for the data's inner structure. This empirical typology is subsequently related to some individual conditions (age, qualification and area of residence), labour market aspects (occupational sector) and family choices. Main findings confirm that Italian labour market is segmented according to work contract, occupational sector and geographical location; and women's presence in the LM is often characterized by atypical, illegal or discontinuous employment relationship.