But housework isn’t just something women are expected to do at home. In interview after interview with professional women for my recent book, “What Works for Women at Work,” I heard stories about what I call office housework: the administrative tasks, menial jobs and undervalued assignments women are disproportionately given at their jobs. They were expected to plan parties, order food, take notes in meetings and join thankless committees at far greater rates than their male peers were.

Such office housework holds women back, too — and not just because it undercuts their authority and devours time they could spend on more valued projects. It’s also a political tightrope for women. Saying no without seeming touchy, humorless or supremely selfish is a particularly tricky balancing act.