“Off-ramping is an important phenomenon. A substantial minority (37%) of highly qualified women off-ramp – that is, they voluntarily leave their careers for a period of time… For highly qualified men, off-ramping seems to be about strategic repositioning in their careers — a far cry from the dominant concerns of their female peers… In our research, we find that most highly qualified women who are currently off-ramped (93%) want to return to their careers…Despite the fact that on-ramping women are highly motivated (mostly by financial pressure), most find re-entry enormously difficult… On-rampers are hungry for help from the private sector. They feel that a variety of company-sponsored initiatives would make for more successful on-ramping experiences.”

Hewlett, S. & Luce, C.B. (2005). Off ramps and on ramps. Harvard Business Review, 83(3), 43-54.