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Speaking to, Karen revealed she set up Employmum three years ago after returning home to Ireland after becoming a mother-of-two whilst living abroad for 20 years.

‘I naively thought I would just go and find flexible work to fit around my family life,’ she admitted.

‘With over 20 years of experience in executive roles, I thought finding a flexible role would be easy, until I started looking in earnest and realised that there were very few flexible roles available and no-one to help me find one.’

‘This was my light bulb moment and Employmum was born,’ Karen says, after setting up the business with the help of her local LEO office in Clonakilty, County Cork.

‘Since then Employmum has grown from strength to strength and we have a large database of over high calibre candidates who want to work flexibly.’

Describing the brand, Karen says: ‘Employmum is a flexible recruitment agency with a heart. We are different to traditional recruitment agencies in that we source flexible work for candidates.’

Employmum also offers free Back to Work workshops for those returning to the workforce after a break, they help companies with returnship programmes.

Attitudes have changed with time, however, as Karen says ’employers are really coming to the table now as they realise that, in the war for talent, they must offer flexible work in order to obtain and retain the best people.’

‘It is very encouraging to see companies now come to us seeking advice as to how they can keep women in the workplace and how they can implement a flexible work strategy across the board that actually means something to all levels within the organisation.

The most rewarding aspect of the business for Karen is knowing that Employmum is making a difference to women returning to the workforce.

‘This is what Employmum is all about – helping people, particularly women, either staying in the workforce ,re-entering with ease, or pivoting in their careers.’

As for Karen’s plans for the future, she’s already working on building a new business called Employflex, which will focus on helping a wider audience of people find suitable work.

‘As it stands, 30% of our placements are men and many are not even parents. We realise that there is an appetite for flexible work out there and not just with parents,’ she said.

‘The future of work will be flexible and we want to be 100% part of that. We are excited to launch this new brand soon and are working on that at the moment – it’s all very exciting.’

‘We have offices in Cork and Limerick and plan to open our Dublin office in the second quarter of this year as the demand from Dublin is massive and we need to have an office there offer our clients and candidates a quality service.’

‘Our motto is – life is short – work somewhere flexible!’

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