For employers, career re-entry, as this process is called, offers a source of experienced, skilled, and reliable talent. Even in tough economic times, their investment apparently pays off.
The Journal article by Sue Shellenbarger cites re-entry programs by companies such as Honeywell, IBM, General Electric, and BBN Technologies that provide training, mentoring, and referrals -- and sometimes even jobs -- to help women rejoin their working colleagues. The article also mentions programs by the British government and a General Electric initiative at its research center in Bangalore, India, as examples outside the U.S.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge offers a 10-month "Career Re-engineering" training course for engineers and scientists returning to work. MIT expects enrollment to grow from 10 to 24 by next fall.
Science Careers has covered career re-entry in some detail, particularly as it affects women outside the U.S. A story by Chelsea Wald in March 2008 detailed a number of career re-entry programs in Europe. And last month James Pauff and Misty Richards looked at this and related issues affecting women physician-scientists.
The Web site iRelaunch.com, described in the Journal article, has additional advice and resources.
Note: Paragraphs 3 and 4 corrected, 25 February 2009