Yes, although this is eventually true of men too, from what I've seen.
Many males, by the time they're in their 40s and 50s, have moved on from coding to architecture, management, multifunctional roles like customer engineering liasons, highly specialized SWE roles like JVM optimization, or have switched careers altogether. Hard to compete with the young kids who'll work 12 hours a day for pizza.
In other words, by the time the women are ready to come back, the men (of the same age) aren't generally doing that work anymore either. So it wouldn't be appropriate for women to return to that role. The main difference is that men tend to stay with it longer, through the family years, where women bail sooner. And that's good. People gravitate to what they are intereted in, and where there is demand. It is a fact that women are better at raising young kids, and more importantly they want to do it more than men do. We all know it.
The sexes are not interchangeable. They can fill the same roles, because as a rule humans are remarkably adaptable and intelligence goes a long way to compensate for gaps in natural talent. But often, one or the other will be better precisely because of talent or interest. The edge may be small but it is still significant.
For example, I think women are better in roles where they are dealing with people, or in program manager type roles where there are a zillion little things to keep track of all at once. I don't understand why, but I often see this pattern, and I see that women often to a better job than men do in these roles. Women are better at staying home with small children; if society pushes them in that direction maybe its because there is good reason for it. Men are better at focused attention. You don't need studies to tell you this, it's everywhere, it's obvious to anyone with even a little intelligence or intuition. Of course women can be good software engineers, and depending on individual talent and interest, may be as good or better than men. Humans are varied. Some men excel at things that women are usually better at. And that's all good. But it is foolish and ignorant to pretend that there is no difference, that differences do not exist in the population as a whole.
Talent is extremely hard to measure, but interest and motivation are very easy to see. Personally I think that interest is far more important than talent. It goes back to that large brain thing. We can learn to be what we want to be. And in my opinion, most women don't want to do software engineering. Why should I care? Why they be forced to do what they don't want to do, in the name of political correctness? I thought modern society was all about giving women choice?