On-ramping is the process of re-entering the workforce after taking care of a career . It is paired with the term “off-ramping”, or exiting the workforce as a temporary career break.

The Hidden Brain Drain, a taskforce led by economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett, but they do find it difficult to rectify the problem. enter the workforce, this is called ‘off-ramping’ and ‘on-ramping’. Short amount of time off-ramped (around 2.2 years), but even this can incur financial penalties.Women who spend around three years off-ramp see their earning power decrease by 37 percent. ” [1] A study by the Center for Work-Life Policy that is more than 90 percent of those women who off-ramp eventually wish to on-ramp back into the work force.

The term appears as early as 2005, [3] reaching public mention on NPR [4] that same year. The term appears in articles in such publications as the Wall Street Journal [5] by 2006, and by 2008 appears in formal training materials for organizations such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants [6] as a business best practice .

Sylvia Ann Hewlett, as the likeliest originator of the term (in Hewlett & Luce (2005), [7] ) has developed a career site (YourOnRamp) to capitalize on it and is a supporter of the entrepreneurial networking organization LadiesWhoLaunch .


  1. Jump up^ Elaine Aarons, Hidden Drain Brain Taskforce, as reported inhttp://www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=114645&d=pndpr&h=pnhpr&f=pnfpr
  2. Jump up^ Hannah Seligson (2008-12-06). “Off Ramp to On Ramp: It Can Be a Hard Journey” . NY Times . Retrieved 2012-07-25 .
  3. Jump up^ “We Can Stop the Female Brain Drain,” by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, March 6, 2005
  4. Jump up^ marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2005/12/09/off_ramping/
  5. Jump up^ Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal writes about the efforts of Lehman Bros. and other Employers to help.
  6. Jump up^ http://www.aicpa.org/download/career/wofi/0666-331_WLWIECs_Off-Ramping_Program.pdf
  7. Jump up^ “Off Ramp and OnRampers” (PDF) (Press release). Center for Work Life Policy. 2005-02-25 . Retrieved 2006-07-03 .

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