At least in the NRSV I'm using for this meditation, I've read through and noticed -- for the first time -- that Martha never asked Mary directly to help her with the 'women's work'. No nudge. No gesturing or polite 'ahem' is mentioned in this account.
Martha was doing the manual hospitality work. Mary was working, too. Mary was engaged in the 'being' hospitality work. Making Jesus feel at home. She listened, perhaps ask questions, took it all in.
So - each was working her own way - one as she thought she should, one as she thought she could. Jesus reminds Martha there are times when doing the right thing can be distracting - attempting to get Mary to help with meal preparation by using Jesus was distracting, and he would have none of it. After all, this visit wasn't planned. And I can't recall an account of Jesus complaining about a meal - how and when it was served or whether the meal was unacceptable.
Working women everywhere, take note. Working together making hospitality seem effortless, is a delightful, blessed gift to all.