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Representation and diversity in British Horseracing: What is the research telling us?

Author: Tallulah Lewis/08 August 2016/Categories: In the News

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Over a six week period Oxford Brookes University is collecting data from those working in British Horseracing in order to get a better understanding of women’s representation and diversity within the sport.


The survey is available here: and open until 31st August so please make sure to have your say on the future of our sport.


The team at the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice at Oxford Brookes University have already received responses from nearly 400 people and has started to look at what the data is showing. We thought you might be interested in some of the preliminary findings. The full report will be available in 2017. Women in Racing will work with other stakeholders in the sport to ensure its findings are acted upon.


So far there has been a strong response from a range of careers, from stable staff and the charitable sector through to racing and racecourse management.  The most responses have come from people aged 35-44 who are based in England, however other age groups and locations around the UK are all represented.


The data is so far illustrating the following important points: 


  • Career Enablers: When asked respondents have stated positive role models in senior positions, opportunities for training/development and networks within racing are the three factors having the greatest impact;


  • Career Constraints: When asked about career constraints, the factors emerging from respondents include a lack of career advice, a lack of career planning and a lack of opportunities for taking additional management responsibilities;


  • Opportunities in British Racing: Respondents believe that when they have received less favourable treatment for promotion and opportunities for more senior roles age and gender (and sometimes a combination of both) are the main factors;

  • Positive Experiences in British Racing: These include teamwork and camaraderie, support networks and the variety of work. Less positive feedback from respondents has included experiences of elitism and an 'old boy network', and that horseracing is slow to move with the times compared with other sports. In addition social class is raised on a number of occasions as a limiting factor.


Finally, a number of participants have welcomed the survey and are pleased that the industry is conducting research in this area.


The research will continue and we look forward to be able to share the findings with you in the months ahead.


A big thank you to everyone who had contributed. And a reminder that if you have not you have until 15th August to make sure you do!

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