A Dublin-based company is aiming to make career development opportunities more accessible to women and underrepresented talent.

Rise Up has launched a free membership platform that brings together mentorship, coaching, networking and job opportunities all under one virtual roof.

The company said its mission is to "advance more women in their careers and help companies to narrow the gender leadership gap".

Rise Up said that a lot of women are running into the "maternal wall" before they hit any glass ceiling.

It claims that women are being overlooked for promotions due to a perceived lack of availability, while they themselves will also turn down certain opportunities for fear of their impact on work life balance.

"In order to address the widening gender leadership gap at the top we've got to focus on the emerging leadership talent pipeline - aka women between the ages of 29-40. This is where the permanent drop off of talent exists," it added.

When they join Rise Up, women can partner with companies who are serious about investing in female talent and accelerating their diversity journey.

They work closely with companies who want to attract, hire and retain more diverse talent. Most organisations have good intentions which is comforting but the real power is in the action, Rise Up founder Susan Dwyer said.

Susan Dwyer said that while we all know diverse businesses perform better, achieving parity with diversity is challenging.

She said she created the Rise Up community because it was something I was searching for in my own career, that inclusive space where I could go to connect with others, learn and grow.

"I think a big mistake a lot us make, myself included, is this idea of having to figure things out by ourselves, when actually that’s not the best strategy," she said.

"You can progress so much quicker in your career by having the right support group around you to talk to, to guide you and ultimately to champion you when you need it," she added.