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In public relations, there is a trend of women starting their own consultancies to manage career and family obligations and enjoy a more flexible lifestyle. There are legions of professional women who step off the career fast track at least once to raise children, care for elderly parents, or manage other demands.

But when they’re ready to step back on track – just a short time later – they hit a wall. On-ramps are few and far between, and the financial penalties for taking a “time out” are punishing.


The result?

  1. Many women are lost on re-entry, and companies are missing the chance to leverage this talent pool.
  2. There are too many talented women leaving their careers for a change, or languishing on the sidelines.
  3. The fact is, the dynamics of today’s career model, simply don’t mesh with the imperatives of women’s lives.

Women in PR distributed a survey, asking about our members careers and if they have taken any non-linear career paths.

Our survey data demonstrated:

  • A large majority of talented women have taken a career off-ramp or have nonlinear careers. In fact, 72 percent reported taking a voluntary time out from work for an average of 1- 2 years.
  • The majority of these women were between the ages of 30 – 39 years old, with either a Bachelor’s degree or Graduate degree.
  • 60 percent took time off for child care, 40 percent took time off to pursue further education and another 40 percent indicated they no longer found their work satisfying.
  • 90 percent indicated they would change career paths to find enjoyment from their line of work.

These results speak volumes about the different needs that women have in the workplace and why it’s so important for employers to recognize them.


Join American Women in Public Relations for a 90 minute video on demand discussion on career offroads and onroads – navigating a woman’s career in business. It is based on a Harvard Business Review report entitled “The Hidden Brain Drain: Off-Ramps and On-Ramps in Women’s Careers.

Our panelists share personal insights on career off-ramps and how these off-ramps have impacted their careers. They share strategies to on-ramp after taking time off to raise children, care for elderly parents, or to manage other life experiences.

The video on demand discussion includes negotiating tips, confidence advice, mentorship, career inspiration and thoughts on gender diversity in the workplace.


American Women in Public Relations™ (Women in PR USA®) and Canadian Women in Public Relations (Women in PR Canada) has been formed to enable groups of public relations women leaders across the Americas to come together to share ideas, contacts, experiences, and to advocate for major issues directly affecting women working in the PR industry today.

Join our online community to be interviewed on our website as a Women in PR, gain access to our premium resources, find your next job and build contacts in your field. We also offer member discounts on PR tools, events and training to help you thrive in your career.

Women in PR Interviews

Women in PR North America

The Organization of Canadian Women in Public Relations (Women in PR Canada) and American Women in Public Relations (Women in PR USA) is a network of leading business women striving for excellence in the field of public relations. Together, our organizations form Women in PR North America.

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