A new study by Network Ireland reveals the impact Covid-19 is having on women's businesses and careers in this country.

The women's business group said more than 40% of respondents said doing their job or running their business is getting harder, as a result of the pandemic.

In terms of the restrictions placed on businesses, 41% of those surveyed said social distancing, rostering and remote working were the areas proving most difficult to manage.

Over 60% of those surveyed said they have availed of state supports for businesses since March, while almost 85% said they have not turned to financial institutions for financial support.

On a positive note, almost half of respondents said business is going 'better than expected’ since 29 June, while 33% said they are now operating their business at 80-100% of pre-pandemic levels. Another third said they are now operating at 50-80%.

The vast majority said their experience in recent months has prompted them to look at upskilling to benefit their career or business.

The survey found that marketing and business development are the most popular areas in which people would like to expand their skillsets.

Louisa Meehan, President of Network Ireland said the survey results show the need for adequate Government supports.

"It's striking to see that over 40% of people feel work is getting harder six months into this incredible time for Ireland. The fact that 60% of people have sought state support to keep their businesses up and running shows how vital these programmes are as we face into a massively daunting winter," she said.

Ms Meehan also highlighted the importance of education options for women in business.

"With nearly 90% of respondents looking to upskill, it’s crucial that appropriate avenues are highlighted and open to people who need enterprise-specific education to maximise the viability of their business," she said.