“It’s actually really hard trying to figure [things] out and get your ducks in a row when you’re a young female,” said Maria, who has just launched her events business Juniper & Ruby.
However, she said that despite the challenges, there are some very inspirational female entrepreneurs here.
“We just came off an event in Network Ireland called Fearless Ambition that was in Cork. It was remarkable in terms of just all these women in the 32 counties that are just creating such impact in whatever stream they’re doing it.
“That gave us a bit of oomph to keep going but funding is really hard, getting your marketing and when you’re only a sole employer, it’s pretty difficult but no rest for the wicked,” she said.
Maria was talking at the IFTA Gala Television Awards on Friday night where she was nominated in the Rising Star category, which was won by comedian Al Porter.
She said she is also working on a number of TV projects with her girlfriend, Emmy-nominated TV producer Shauna Keogh of Empire Elite.
Also in attendance on Friday was the newly-crowned rising star of Irish TV Al Porter, who has just landed a comedy slot with the BBC.
“I’m not allowed say much. All I can say is that it’s going to be really big. It’s the most mainstream, most prime-time show I’ve ever done.
“Millions of people — and that’s not even an exaggeration — will watch it and fingers crossed they’ll like it and I can do more,” Al said.
He also revealed that he was developing a series with BBC Radio 4, and joked about settling down with Graham Norton, when asked about the potential axing of the TV presenter.
“The only person Graham Norton is getting the shift off is me, next time I catch him down in Cork. His mother was quoted in the exact same interview as saying that Graham had a very good friend who he sees every now and then, who she wants him to get with but he’s not sure.
“I am willing to go on the record and say I am that man,” he said.