In my opinion a work/life balance does not exist in the old traditional model of work, when you're working for someone else, especially in a large corporate organisation.
There will always be one or two exceptions of women who have made it work for them, but these are few and far between and not a proper representation of women in the workforce.
For example, I was happy for women who worked for me to work from home, as long as they did their job I had no issues where they did their work from. The problem comes from senior management (generally men) who want to see the workers working, they like seeing people sat at their desks at all hours of the day, even if their not working! As your reputation at work is based on the perception of you, and how well you do will be based on senior mangers perception on you and how hard you are seen to be working.
If you're a women with children, you can’t be sat at the office for hours on end. You want to do your job and go home to your family and when you’re at home you want to have some energy left to spend time with your family. If you're putting in twelve or fifteen hour days this is not going to happen.
At the moment, especially in the UK to be successful at your job, it can be about face time and putting in the hours and it's based on who you know not what you know. Currently women are still being paid a lot less than men and there are not enough women in senior positions to change the old model. So the old model is still alive and well.
I do believe more and more women are choosing to opt out of the typical 9 - 5 environment. They want to achieve the work life balance and because companies are slow on the take up of flexible working hours and being supportive to women with children. More and more women are starting their own companies and becoming entrepreneurs, they are now taking control of their working lives.
I personally would not go back into a large corporate as I know my life would not be my own. I gave up my life and time for 8 years. Now I have control over my time and my day. If I want to sleep till 10 every morning and work till 2 every night that’s my choice. If I want to take a day off on Wednesday and catch up on work on the Sunday, that’s my choice.
I have control over my diary and my work life balance, but to be honest, I love what I do, so I want to be involved with it all the time.
My life is my work and my work is my life, but I love it and I’m passionate about it so its not really work!!