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'I think it is very important to support women in the workplace'

Zarah Hartung is 36 and lives in south Dublin with her husband Andreas and their children Joshua (5) and Jenna (3). She runs a maternity and children's boutique both online and in Ballinteer called Cherish Me. As the boss of her own business she understands the need to get on with her staff and be flexible when it comes to juggling their work and home life.

"I am the directing manager and buyer for Cherish Me and have a very good working relationship with my female staff and am very understanding about being a working mother as it's not easy trying to juggle family life and work.

"Due to the nature of our business we can offer flexible hours, which is great for our staff who have other commitments and can't work unsociable hours or don't want to be paying out all their wages on childcare. I feel we offer a lovely working environment with great team spirit and excellent training which gives them an opportunity to develop their skills and work their way up in the company.

"I think it is very important to support women in the workplace, especially if they are working mums because I am very aware that the clock doesn't stop just when you finish work.

"Sometimes mums who have been out of work for a long time can lose their confidence, so it's important to give them encouragement and offer them the skills they need to grow and develop a great sense of achievement.

"I would advise other women who are experiencing difficulties in work to approach whoever is in charge and discuss their worries. It is important to communicate clearly if they feel they aren't being given adequate training and skills

"And if they can't find a solution I think it's very important to question if this is really what they want to be doing as if not, it could have a negative effect on health. We spend so much time working, it's important to enjoy what you do and be given the opportunity to grow and feel appreciated in the workplace." >Arlene Harris