This article by Anne-Marie Slaughter really struck a chord with me because of what she says about giving women freedom to make their own schedules. I think she hit the bulls-eye here. Our persistent "slacking" in the climb up the corporate ladder has little to do with ambition or commitment or bravery. It's about avoiding martyrdom and doing simple math.
Here's what I mean. There are only 24 hours in each day. Doctors say we should sleep for about 8 of those hours. If children are in the mix, you can factor in at least 1 hour each day for meals, 1 hour for homework or some form of educational enrichment, and 1 hour for transportation. Add 1 hour per day to accommodate the doctor visits, dental cleanings, haircuts, teacher conferences, and lessons that accumulate each week. If a woman works only 8 hours a day, that leaves 4 hours for her to get showered and dressed, eat, use the toilet, commute, manage household stuff, and exercise. If everything goes PERFECTLY, then she'll be okay. But nothing ever goes perfectly, does it? The nonessential activities like exercise and eating properly and avoiding constipation are usually the first to get cut.